Basilica di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria – the church of fresco masterpieces in Apulia

Sandra Marx | Live the World

November 23, 2022

There are countless interesting sights and historical architecture in Ap[ulia]( The southern part of Ap[ulia](, the Sa[lento]( peninsula is particularly famous for its baroque architecture and rich history, marked by many different influences.  

Picture © Credits to iStock/ photooiasson

One of the most remarkable relicts of the rich history of the region is “The Basilica di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria” in Galatina. It is a real treasure of art and ancient times, which safeguards magnificent frescoes and merges together different architectural styles- from the Roman, to the Gothic, to the Norman and Byzantine style. 

Picture © Credits to iStock/ photooiasson

It has a Romanic facade with an elegant portal finely decorated and a rose window, which looks like it is embodied in the stone. The inside of the Cathedral has a gothic heart and is covered with frescoes. These spectacular paintings have been executed by some of  the best artists of Napoli, by order of the princess Maria d’Enghien in 1400. Due to its spectacular and artistic interior, as well as its historic appearance, it is often mentioned among the most beautiful churches throughout Italy. 

The cathedral of Galatina was built between 1369 and 1391 by Raimondello Orsini del Balzo, who went at the top of the Sinai mountain to pay homage to the body of Saint Caterina. According to the legend, when he kissed her hand, he bit away her finger, and took it with him in Italy. Nowadays, it is kept as part of the treasure of the Church, in a silver reliquary.

The countless frescoes showcase the Apocalypse, tell stories from the Genesis, display the seven Sacraments of the Catholic church, Angelic hierarchies, and also include fragments about Jesus' and Saint Caterina's d‘Alessandria lives.

If you enjoy looking at historic buildings and love everything that makes you feel like setting back in time, don’t miss out on visiting “The Basilica di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria” in Galatina.

Title Picture © Credits to Wikipedia/Jacobus

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