You might say that the San Cassiano Cathedral has had two lifetimes. The first time, building began in the end of the 12th century and it was consecrated in 1271. The crypt holds the remains of San Cassiano da Imola Martire (St. Cassian Martyr of Imola), patron saint of the city. The first addition to the building dates back to the 16th century. The bell tower was built during this renovation.
The building underwent various restorations over the centuries until the second half of 1700: due to its serious structural problems, it was completely demolished and rebuilt in 1775 by an imolese architect, Cosimo Morelli. Pope Pius VI consecrated it for the second time in 1782. The façade was completely restyled in the 1850s as ordered by Pope Sistus IX, modifying a design by Cosimo Morelli.
In the Cathedral, the 15th century wooden crucifix above the altar, and the 16th century baptismal font are notable. Another interesting aspect is the exquisite craftsmanship of the wooden benches, dating to the second construction in the 18th century. Girolamo Riario’s tombstone is inside the Basilica: he was a renaissance Lord of the city. His wife Caterina Sforza had him buried in the family chapel that no longer exists.
Photos by Uliana Marrone and Mauro Lattuga, licensed by CC BY-SA