Santa Maria Assunta & San Giovanni Battista Cathedral
The only Cathedral in the Aosta Valley as well as the oldest Christian building in the area, located in the only city of the same Valley, Aosta, downtown in Giovanni XXIII square, being a fairly small city, which has only 33 thousand inhabitants and is located in the smallest Italy region, in about twenty minutes on foot, it is possible to visit almost completely its historical part, to visit inside the major places of worship and monuments it is however necessary much more time because despite its small size they are quite numerous.
Walking around its streets you can find several historical sites, among the most important are the Augustus Arch, the Roman theater, the Porta Pretoria and the collegiate church of Sant'Orso. For some years now the Region has been investing a lot in cultural heritage, many of them have been restructured in the past or will be in the near future, all this to increase the tourist boom that after explosion in the 90s it is quite weak in recent times.
By taking care of and renewing its historical assets and organizing exhibitions and events, they are trying to reborn the desire to explore a Valley that in some places is deserted. Strictly personal opinion is that the cause of this decrease in tourism is partly due to the considerable increase in prices and the limited savoir-faire of most shop and restaurant managers.
I close this tourist digression to go back talking about the Cathedral, quite imposing considering the small size of the buildings that surround it, inside there are many statues and religious representations, very particular the arrangement of the crucifix, which is not fixed to the ground but remains suspended between the arches.
Below the central area there is a crypt, which was not accessible on the day I visited it, built and extended during the 11th century over the remains of a Domus Ecclesiae (from the Latin "church's house") dating back to the IV century, being part of the sacred area of the Roman Forum, bounded by a criptoportico (hidden porch).
Despite its more than 500 years of age it is very well maintained, besides you can visit paying a part exclusively dedicated to historical paintings of the time, in which I did not enter since I was in the company of some boys of the community where I work and it's also the reason why I didn't take a lot of pictures.
As often happens during Sunday trips, one of the guys in particular asks me to take pictures to send to his parents on WhatsApp, I never retreat myself if I can help someone and I do it with great pleasure, on the other hand sometimes it takes little to make a person happy. So we quickly explored the Cathedral together and took the photos you see in this article, we especially enjoyed the beautiful frescoes that you can find everywhere but especially those in the dome, the fascinating spiral staircase that leads to the upper floor, not accessible to the public, and finally the beautiful glass windows with the sacred images with bright colors.
Thanks for reading, a big hug and see you soon!
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