189 – September 2014 Gathering of the “We Love Atina” Group – Tour of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

La Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta stands in Piazza Marconi, in the centre of the historic old town.

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Piazza Marconi Atina Italy

The Church was decorated in preparation for the up and coming celebrations of the Feast Day of San Marco (1st October), Atina’s patron saint.

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Piazza Marconi Atina Italy

We Love Atina Group at Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Some of us chose to attend Mass at the Cathedral.

Me, Louise, lighting a candle for my mother in the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta, Atina.

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina ItalyAfter Mass Monsignor Domenico very kindly agreed to give us a guided tour of the Cattedrale.

Guided Tour of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

The church was founded in the 11th century on the site of an ancient Roman temple dedicated to the god Saturn.  At this time the church was dedicated to St John The Baptist, you can see a statue of St John on the exterior facade of the church, located in a niche flanked by the bell towers.

Statue of St John the Baptist Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

The remains of the martyr San Marco were deposited there.  In 1280 the church was enlarged  In 1349 the town of Atina and the church were destroyed in a devastating earthquake.  In 1405 a bell tower with four bells was erected. By the 16th century it had three chapels dedicated to SS Rosario, St John the Baptist and St Joseph and later more were added to SS Crocifisso and the Madonna of Loreto.

In 1743 the remains of the martyr San Fortunato were deposited there and in 1725 it was decided to totally renovate and expand the the structure including the construction of the dome,  the renovation works took approximately 20 years.  1746 the new church was reconsecrated and dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta and given her name, In 1798 the church was further adorned with the noble facade with two bell towers and in the first half of the 19th century the artist Teodoro Mancini of Atina painted the interior of the dome and the vault of the central nave. In 1873 the building was struck once again by an earthquake which caused the need for major reparations and further enhancements to the structure were included and then on the 3 May 1878 it was deemed to grant the church the higher status of a cathedral.

Since then the Cathedral has withstood the further serious earthquakes of 1915 and 1984.

The church we see today is decorated in an ornate Baroque style.  Monsignor Domenico Simeone showed us the beautiful altar intricately inlaid with multi-coloured pieces of marble in the Napolitan style, similar to work in the Abbey of Montecassino.

Altar of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Marble Altar of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Inlaid Marble in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Marble Altar of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Inlaid Marble Altar of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

The main Altar of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta.

Altar of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

The painting of the Assumption above the main altar

Painting of the Assumption in  Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

The beautifully carved wooden Choir Stalls

Choir Stalls of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Carved Choir Stalls of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

The Statue of Atina’s main patron saint, San Marco, and the Altar of the Cattedrale

San Marco in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

The Pulpit and the Confessional

Pulpit of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

The Baptismal Font –

Many of our Atina ancestors may well have been baptised here.

Font of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Some of the beautiful side Altars and Chapels

Chapel of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Side Chapel of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Side Chapel of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Painting of the Last Supper

Side Chapel of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

I would just like to add that it was here in this chapel in October 2005 that my parents, Tina and Hugh, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows.  It was a very touching experience and a very special occasion.

Renewal of Wedding Vows in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Sadly they have  since both passed away.  How I miss them so.

Renewal of Wedding Vows in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Returning to the Cathedral – The ornate gilded dome and ceiling.

Ceiling of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Ceiling of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Looking towards the rear of the church and the organ.

Ceiling and Pipe Organ of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

A Fresco of St John the Baptist.

Fresco of St John the Baptist in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Ornate Baroque Plasterwork and Gold Leaf.

Baroque Plasterwork in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

The organ which was built in 1737 by the Catarinozzi family.

Pipe Organ of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

An ornate sarcophagus.

Sarcophagus in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Painting in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Statue in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Statue in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

During WWII and the heavy bombing of Atina by the Allies in 1943, the Cathedral was seriously damaged, the dome was destroyed and several works of art were also lost. In addition, sadly some paintings by the artist Luigi Velpi were stolen from the Cathedral in recent years.

Guided tour of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

Priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Atina Italy

A big thank you to Monsignor Domenico Simeone who gave us a wonderful tour of the beautiful Cathedral, in perfect English.

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

My Atina Website:  http://atinaitaly.com

#cathedral #cattedrale #church #SantaMariaAssunta #atina #italy

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TCTitle

Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

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