|St Matthew's Cathedral|
|Cathedral Church of Matthew the Apostle|
Photo of St Matthew's
The Cathedral was built when the city was the capital of the Principality of Salerno.
In 1688, the architect Ferdinando Sanfelice remodelled the interior of the Duomo in the Neapolitan Baroque and Rococo styles. A restoration in the 1930s brought it back to an appearance similar to the original one.
The most striking external feature is the bell tower (mid-12th century), with small arcades and mullioned windows, standing 56 m high and in Arabic-Norman style. It contains 8 large bells. The façade has a Romanesque portal with Byzantine-style bronze doors from Constantinople (1099), with 56 panels with figures, crosses and stories from Jesus's life. The entrance has a portico with 28 antique columns whose pointed arches, with lava rock intarsia, show influence of Arab art, and contains a series of ancient Roman sarcophagi.
The interior has a nave and two aisles, divided by pilasters in which the original columns are embedded, and three apses. Artworks include two pulpits with mosaic decorations, paintings by Francesco Solimena, a 14th-century Gothic statue of Madonna with Child and the sepulchres of the Neapolitan queen Margaret of Durazzo, of Roger Borsa and of archbishop Bartolomeo d'Arpano, and the tomb of Pope Gregory VII.
The crypt, believed to house the remains of Matthew the Apostle, is a groin vaulted hall with a basilica-like plan divided by columns. It was restored under design by Domenico Fontana and his son Giulio in 1606-1608, with marble decorations added in the 18th century. All of the ceiling frescoes are painted by Belisario Corenzio and depict scenes from the Gospel of Matthew, as well as some episodes of the history of Salerno (such as the siege of the city by the French).
The Duomo Museum houses artworks from different ages, including the silver statues of the Salernitane Martyrs (13th century) and documents of the renowned Schola Medica Salernitana (the first University of Europe, according to some scholars like G. Crisci).