A first building, probably early Christian, is documented in 548 ad was dedicated to St. Martin of Tours by the bishop Felice, during the gothic wars between Byzantines and Ostrogoths. On the façade fragments of stone decorations from the VIII, IX and X century, arriving from some older religious buildings that once surrounded the cathedral. From the late middle age decoration, only two stone and marble tombs have survived: the so called Azzoni monument, now fixed inside the bell tower, and the Avoscano monument, now used as altar basis in the crypt. Damaged by a fire in 1471, rebuilt from 1517 following a project by the venetian architect Tullio Lombardo, that turned the building: the old cathedral was facing the river Piave whwereas the new project turned tha façade toward the square and based the new apsis on one of the city wall towers. The construction lasted the whole XVI century and every bishop built a part of it. The baroque bell tower was built in 1732 by the Sicilian architect Filippo Juvarra. It acquired the rank of roman “Basilica minore” since 1980. Inside it shows art works by Cesare Vecellio, Andrea Schiavone, Jacopo Bassano, Andrea Brustolon, Gaspare Diziani and others.
Source: Marco Perale
Piazza Del Duomo, 2, 32100 Belluno