San Giustino’s Cathedral
San Giustino’s Cathedral, one of the most important religious buildings in Abruzzo, is located in Chieti’s city center. It is dedicated to Saint Giustino, whose relics are preserved in an urn inside the Cathedral’s crypt.
This fine gothic structure was founded in 1069 on the ruins of a pagan temple and has undergone several reconstructions over the centuries after catastrophic events such as the 1703 earthquake. The present façade was designed by the architect Guido Cirilli in the 19th century. The impressive bell tower was constructed by architect Antonio da Lodi in 1498 and its restoration was completed in 1947.
The interior, in late Baroque style, follows the shape of a cross. With its three naves, its transept, the crypt, and numerous chapels.
Beneath the Baroque nave lies a Romanesque crypt revealing some of the features that survived from an earlier incarnation of the church, including medieval murals and a marble ark containing the relics of the cathedral’s saint.
Also full of mystery and fascination is the Criptaypt of del Sodalizio.
A treasure trove of art, decorated with golden stuccos from the 1700s, is the residence of the Archconfraternity of Sacro Monte. The ceiling is adorned by their symbol, which is the combination of a crown, a cross, and a skull.
The Archconfraternity was created in the 16th century with the aim of helping the poor and celebrating religious rites.
Today they oversee the preparation of the Good Friday procession, the oldest in Italy.
San Giustino Cathedral is open to visitors on weekdays from early morning to evening, with a 4-hour break at noon. It is free to enter. Find the church on the northern flank of the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.