Lecce Cathedral and Square, Lecce

Lecce Cathedral and Square, Lecce (must see)

Dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Lecce Cathedral (Duomo di Lecce) dominates the Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo). The Cathedral Square is "enclosed" on three sides by some of the most ornate Baroque buildings in Lecce. The square is accessed through a narrow entrance on the north side of the Libertini Street.

The four main buildings in the hidden square are the Cathedral, the Bishop's Palace, the Seminary, and the lofty Lecce bell tower. The main attraction is the Cathedral. The Cathedral has had three incarnations. It was first built in 1144. It was renovated in 1230 and finally rebuilt by architect Giuseppe Zimbalo in 1659.

On the southeast corner of the square, the Cathedral can be entered through two portals. The main entrance is the north portal, accessible by a cascading staircase and flanked by two stout columns. On either side of the columns are niches holding images of Saints Giusto and Fortunato.

The entablature above the portal is surmounted by a balustrade with columns and pilasters. Above the balustrade, within an ornately decorated arch, is the figure of Saint Orontius, who is credited with saving Lecce from the plague. The west entrance is divided by fluted pilasters into three sections relating to the three naves within.

The three naves are divided by pilasters and columns. The center nave and transepts have a wooden coffered ceiling installed in 1685 with paintings by Giuseppe da Brindisi. There are 12 side chapels with altars. The chapels are dedicated to saints, martyrs, the sacraments, and the lives of Jesus and Mary.

The Bishop's Palace was designed as the background to the square. The clock and facade were added in 1758. The seminary, the finest Baroque building in Lecce, was designed by Giuseppe Cino and built in 1729. It covers the whole west side of the piazza. The 230-foot bell tower was built by Giuseppe Zimbalo in 1682.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Lecce. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Lecce Cathedral and Square on Map

Sight Name: Lecce Cathedral and Square
Sight Location: Lecce, Italy (See walking tours in Lecce)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Lecce, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Lecce

Create Your Own Walk in Lecce

Creating your own self-guided walk in Lecce is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Lecce's Baroque Churches Walking Tour

Lecce's Baroque Churches Walking Tour

Often defined as the “Capital of Baroque” – an artistic trend born in Italy in the 17th century, the town of Lecce has this signature style present in most of the buildings throughout its historic center. Characterized by elaborate facades and the extensive use of local stone known as "pietra leccese", Lecce's Baroque architecture reached its pinnacle in the form of churches,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Lecce Introduction Walking Tour

Lecce Introduction Walking Tour

The beginning of Lecce is a legend. According to the story, a town existed close to the location of today's Lecce, dating from the Trojan Wars. The town was taken by Romans in the 3rd century BC. They called it "Lupiae." The Roman Emperor Hadrian didn't like the location, so he moved it 2 miles to the northeast. Lecce had a theatre and an amphitheater which can be partially...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles