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  • The monumental complex of Santa Sofia in Benevento

    Unesco site since 2011

    The Duchy of Benevento was established in 576, from that year onwards the Lombards intervened in the structure of the Roman city by rebuilding the wall fortifications and reusing abandoned buildings. The Church of Hagia Sophia was built in the spring of 758, to which the female monastery was annexed in 774.


    Santa Sofia represented a sort of Lombard national sanctuary, with a star layout, square, trapezoidal, and triangular vaults on columns and pillars, and the cavity of the dome in the center: these elements give the sensation of being inside a large tent, like that of the powerful German military leaders. The vault has splendid frescoes. At the center of a shining golden mosaic there is Christ on the throne. On the sides there are the praying figures of the Virgin and St. Mercury. Kneeling, with the crown on his head,and there is the figure of Prince Arechi II who, in 759, wanted the construction of the church dedicated to the Holy Wisdom of Christ. The particular position of the pillars creates plays of light and shadow that fascinate the visitor. Six columns with ancient capitals are connected to arches that support the dome. The frescoes which have remained intact over time testify to oriental influences. The church is flanked by the Cloister, not in its original version but in that of the reconstruction carried out following various earthquakes that hit the area. The structure has Romanesque features and Arab influences. Sannio Museum can be found right next to the Church and the Cloister.

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    How to

    get there

    Naples Capodichino Airport

    Bari Airport

    Rome Fiumicino Airport

    By train: from Naples and Caserta

    A1 Milan-Naples highway

    A14 Milan-Bari highway

    A16 Naples-Bari highway

    Activities

    cycling

    trekking

    excursions

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