Thursday, May 30, 2013

Trieste Cathedral

Over at The Orient Express Writers Blog, they pointed out that
"Once aboard the Horror on the Orient Express the intrepid investigators should seize the chance to explore the many  famous cathedrals en route.  Not only do these cathedrals husband thousands of years of history, but in several cities they hold valuable clues to the mystery at hand."

Lets take a look at the Trieste Cathedral:  Cattedrale di San Giusto

The Trieste Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Justus, is the cathedral and main church of Trieste, and is the seat of the Bishop of Trieste.

The first known (this is Call of Cthulhu, and who knows what kind of deviant pre-human beings cavorted and writhed in worship of their strange gods prior to the rise of humanity.....) religious edifice on the site was built in the 6th century on some Roman propylaea, using part of the existing structure.  Perhaps the entrance to a monument, this was commonly known as the Capitoline Temple, as a pyramidal altar with the symbols of the Capitoline Triad (Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) had been found inside it.

Of the hall there remains part of the mosaic floor, integrated into the present-day floor, which contains markings of the outer walls of the early Christian building. Soon after it was opened for worship, the church was destroyed in the Lombard invasion.

Between the 9th and 11th centuries, two basilicas were erected on the ruins of the old church, the first dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption and the second, the cathedral, to Saint Justus (San Giusto). The original design of the latter building was subsequently lengthened. In the 14th century the two basilicas were joined by means of the demolition of one nave of either basilica and the construction of a simple asymmetrical fa├žade, dominated by a delicately worked Gothic rose window, as ornate as the new bell tower, using the Romanesque debris stones found on the site and friezes of arms.

And just in case the players are wondering who is Bishop of Trieste, Angelo Bartolomasi served from 15 Dec 1919 - 11 Dec 1922, and was succeeded by Luigi Fogar on 9 Jul 1923 - 30 Oct 1936.

Bishiop Bartolomasi was an interesting guy.  On 24 November 1910 he became auxiliary bishop of Turin and Titular Bishop of Derbe He was ordained bishop on 15 January 1911. On 23 April 1919 he was promoted to bishop of Trieste and Koper.

In this position defended the rights of the minority Slavic population, and became an irritation for the fascist Italian government, who supported oppressing the Slavic population.  Due to increasing political pressure, on 11 December 1922 he resigned and was succeeded by Biship Luigi Fogar.


S. Hermagoras is said to have planted a church here about 50 A.D., by means of missionaries sent from Aquileia. S. Giusto, one of the patron saints of the city, probably died about 303. The other two are S. Sergio, a soldier, whose halberd still appears in the arms of the town, and S. Servolo, a pious youth who lived at one time in a grotto not far from this place, where they both were martyred. There is said to have been a bishop in the fourth century, but the list of authentic bishops begins with Frugiferus in the sixth. When Christianity triumphed, a church was built on the Capitol on the ruins of the ancient temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption. This was the part to the north of the present church (see plan), now the nave of the Holy Sacrament, "del Santissimo," in the apse of which are the mosaics of the twelve Apostles, probably earlier than the sixth century; while those in the vault, together with the border, are later. Till some twenty years ago[Pg 61] a difference in the level of the floor between the three columns farthest east on each side (where the pulpit stands) marked the place of the original choir. The walled-up clerestory windows of the right side are ancient. The fourteen columns have been plastered over to make them uniform, but are evidently of different thicknesses, suggesting the use of older material. The caps are for the most part rough imitations of Corinthian, and the bases are stilted Attic in type. Of the baptistery nothing remains but the hexagonal font of marble in the chapel of S. John the Baptist, where there is also an ancient well and the apparatus for baptism by ablution, not now used. In the time of Justinian, the second, smaller, church (probably dedicated to SS. Giusto and Servolo) was erected at the south side by Bishop Frugiferus, about 550, as the monogram at the left of the apse shows. The mosaics in the apse are late Byzantine. Four great columns support a cupola in front of the presbytery, by means of four round arches, pendentives, and a drum, round which is an arcade of sixteen stilted round arches with foliated caps and prominently projecting abaci, which it is thought may belong to the original building, though the cupola itself is later. The small apse of the south aisle, with vaulted roof, also belonged to the first building. In front of the apses is a solea with a wagon vault, except in front of the small aisle apse, where it is quadripartite. The aisle is raised a step above the nave. The arcades are uniformly round-arched and stilted, and the caps generally have super-abaci. The north aisle has pointed arches at intervals and a flat roof; the nave of the Santissimo also has a flat roof with beams and brackets. There is a triumphal arch and one blocked window in the apse, with mosaic on the splay of the jamb.
The Shores of The Adriatic, By F. Hamilton Jackson 


It might be worth your time to read a bit about the Trieste Cathedral, and the surrounding areas in "The Shores of the Adriatic, by F Hamilton Jackson", available for free from The Gutenberg Project.

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