The Cathedral of San Vigilio is the Cathedral of Trento, located in Piazza del Duomo, adjacent to Palazzo Pretorio. The church is dedicated to Saint Vigilius, the first bishop of Trento and the patron saint of the town.
The Cathedral was built over the remains of a 4th-century Christian Basilica dedicated to San Vigilio, where the Saint was buried at the beginning of the 5th century.
In the 11th century, the prince-bishop Uldaric II began the rebuilding of the Cathedral, completed at the beginning of the 12th century by the bishop Altemanno.
At the beginning of the 13th century, the bishop Federico Vanga decided to completely rebuild the Cathedral in Romanesque style, and commissioned the master builder Adamo d’Arogno with the construction of the church. The construction began in 1212, but the works were stopped in 1218, on Vanga’s death. In 1236, Adamo d’Arogno died, and the works were continued by his son, Enrico di Fono d’Arogno.
Between 1305 and 1307, Egidio da Campione directed the works by creating the southern side of the Cathedral and the lower part of the bell towers. In 1321, Egidio’s son, Bonino da Campione, built the rose window on the main facade and added new Gothic elements.
Between 1545 and 1563, the Cathedral of San Vigilio hosted the solemn sessions of the Council of Trent.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The main facade of the Cathedral, facing west, is dominated by the bell tower, the only one built out of the two designed. The main portal has a lunette frescoed with the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Vigilius, and is surmounted by a large rose window with Christ Pantocrator and the symbols of the four evangelists, added in the first decades of the 14th century.
On the other hand, the top of the facade, decorated by a small round window and a loggia that rise towards the top, belong to the late 19th-century restorations.
The northern facade overlooking Piazza del Duomo, corresponding to the left transept, features the large rose window known as the Wheel of Fortune (Ruota della Fortuna), with the figure of Fortune in the center, and twelve leaves that symbolize the hours of the day.
On the same facade, there is the beautiful Bishop’s Gate (Porta del Vescovo), with a 13th-century Christ Pantocrator in the lunette, while on the left, a niche houses the Madonna of the Drowned (Madonna degli Annegati), a copy of the 13th-century original moved inside the church.
The Cathedral has a Latin cross plan, with three naves, with two apses developed on the sides of the transept. The church has a length of 72 meters, a width of 24 meters, and the height of the main nave is 26 meters.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Cathedral of San Vigilio is located about 600 meters away from the Trento railway station. The closest bus stop, Rosmini Santa Maria Maggiore, is located about 350 meters away, on the bus Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5/, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13 and 14.