Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (Ischia)

Via Luigi Mazzella 43 (Ischia)

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is a monumental Church of Ischia, in the city of Ischia Ponte, and Cathedral of the Diocese of Ischia.


A primitive Church, dedicated to Santa Maria della Scala, was built in 1388 by Pietro Cossa, brother of antipope John XXIII, in honor of the late father John, Governor of Ischia and Procida: a convent was also destined to the Augustinian Fathers, to whom was entrusted the management of the facility. The monks rebuilt the Church, having been almost entirely destroyed, between 1751 and 1752; In 1809 it also becomes Cathedral of the Diocese of Ischia, taking among other things the name of Saint Mary of the assumption: that old, situated inside the Castle Aragon, was destroyed during the conflict between the French and English, bombed by them, which were positioned near the Hill of Soronzano; from the old cathedral were transported the numerous works of art were saved. In the same year, Joachim Murat, abolished all monastic orders and the Augustinians were forced to leave the island: Ischia returned shortly afterwards with the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty. Over the years, the Church has been subject to restoration work, particularly that of 1912 when it was rebuilt the flooring.


Access to the Church, protected by a wrought iron gate, is given by some marble steps, places near the three entrances; the Baroque façade, as well as are all the rest of the complex, is divided in two by an entablature: the bottom, decorated with stucco pilaster strips, has three entrance portals, one larger central, surmounted by a mosaic depicting the Virgin Mary, and two smaller side, while the top item is a central window and stucco decorations , to finish with an iron cross.
Internally the Church is paved in marble, gift of monsignor Mario Palladino, and divided into three naves, the central one, bigger, separated from the transept to a triumphal arch in which stands a stucco relief depicting a woman, who according to tradition would be the wife of Pietro Cossa, and two smaller side, each of which hosts three chapels; on the back of the Church, supported by two columns, is the choir with organ, while the ceiling is simply decorated in gold and white stucco, with depictions of angels and cherubs. Along the left aisle is the chapel of the baptismal font: this is made with three caryatids, depicting the Gentleness, justice and prudence, from the tomb of Giovanni Cossa, saved in 1610 at the behest of the archpriest Raffaele honored place in the old cathedral, which hold the oval, where he was baptized Saint John Joseph of the cross on 15 August 1654 decorated with cherubs, and around four columns tortoli decorated with grooves and flowering branches, ending with capitals of different sizes; completes the chapel an anonymous 18th century canvas depicting Saint Clare of Montefalco and Santa Rita da Cascia. Follow the chapel with canvas of Saint Joseph, built between 1760 and 1762, artwork of Alfonso Di Spigna, and marble altar of 1834 commissioned by Bishop Joseph of lover, and the chapel of Saint John Joseph of the cross, with painting of the mid-20th century, portraying the Madonna and Maya linen Saint John Joseph of the cross, and marble altar of 1833. Down the right aisle is the chapel of Saint Thomas of Villanova, with canvas attributed to Giacinto Diano, which in 2000 was built the chapel of bishops, the chapel of the Immaculate with shovel by an anonymous 18th-century marble altar of 1834, and the chapel with canvas of the Annunciation, also by Giacinto Diano, and marble altar of 1833.

In the central part of the transept opens the dome, as well as on either side of it are two smaller ones, all of elliptical shapes: at the left end of the transept, over the entrance to the sacristy, is a painting of Saint Augustine, by Giacinto Diano, and a statue of the sacred heart of Jesus, while on the wall opposite the nave houses a crucifix of the 13th-century Catalan school. At the right end of the transept is the painting of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, always of the Give, and a statue of Santa Restituta, while on the wall in front of the nave is the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, within which is a table of the fourteenth century, portraying the Madonna della Libera, before which it is said to have often prayed Vittoria Colonna and Francisco Fernando d'avalos. The high altar, built between 1746 and 1764, is placed in the apse of the Church is surmounted by a painting of the assumption, artwork of Giacinto Diana, placed in a frame in stucco; complete the setting four reliquaries and a wooden choir. In the sacristy are housed several paintings from the ancient Cathedral as a Board of Dirk Hendricksz, depicting Saint George Slaying the Dragon and a St. Thomas prayer of unknown and previously misattributed by monsignor Honored Buonocose, of which there is a giant poster, Gianfrancesco Penni and a crucifixion, in marble, in Gothic art. Outside stands the Bell Tower: built in 1596 as Watchtower, square, and shelter for the population during the Saracen raids, took its definitive role in 1613.



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