The Basilica of Aquileia 1.
- Posted Nov. 18, 2011 by Agnes Felber in Travel. Viewed 4431 times
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The Cathedral of Aquileia is a flat-roofed basilica erected by Patriarch Poppo in 1031 on the site of an earlier church, and rebuilt about 1379 in the Gothic style by Patriarch Marquard of Randeck.
The façade, in Romanesque-Gothic style, is connected by a portico to the so-called Church of the Pagans, and the remains of the 5th century Baptistry. The interior has a nave and two aisles, with a noteworthy mosaic pavement from the 4th century. The wooden ceiling is from 1526, while the fresco decoration belongs to various ages: from the 4th century in the St. Peter's chapel of the apse area; from the 11th century in the apse itself; from the 12th century in the so-called “Crypt of the Frescoes”, under the presbytery, with a cycle depicting the origins of Christianity in Aquileia and the history of St. Hermagoras, first bishop of the city.
Next to the 11th century Romanesque chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, at the beginning of the left aisle, flooring of different ages can be seen: the lowest is from a Roman villa of the age of Augustus; the middle one has a typical cocciopesto pavement; the upper one, bearing blackening from the Attila's fire,who attacked the city twice, first in 408 then in 452 when he managed to destroy the city almost completely. This charred flooring has geometrical decorations.
The ruins of Aquileia were continually pillaged for building material. And with the collapse of the Carolingians in the 10th century, the inhabitants would suffer under the raids of the Magyars.
Externally, behind the 9th century campanile and the apse, is the Cemetery of the Fallen, where ten unnamed soldiers of World War I are buried. Saint Hermangoras is also buried there.
The site of Aquileia, believed to be the largest Roman city yet to be excavated, is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
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