collegiata-di-san-cristoforo-duomo credit: fabryz71

Collegiate church of San Cristoforo (Duomo)

The Duomo, which is part of the Archdiocese of Pisa, is set on an east-west axis. Inside the Duomo there are numerous works of art including a wooden statue of St. Christopher from the 13th century, a 13th-century marble pulpit by Guido Bigarelli of Como, various paintings including Tofanelli’s St. Christopher (13th century) and several Della Robbia terracottas.

It is unknown when construction started but in a 985 document does mention the existence of a church dedicated to St. Christopher and St. James in Barga.

In the beginning it was rectangular and not very large. In the 14th century, when Barga passed under the protection of Florence, the church became much more important, surpassing even the Parish of Loppia.

From then on many extensions and improvements were made to the original small church to make it the monumental complex we can see today: the bell tower was erected over the original entrance, two naves were added to the single original one, the Romanesque apse was demolished and replaced by a chapel (called the central chapel). They then added another two chapels: on the left the chapel of the Madonna del Molino and on the right a chapel that houses three Della Robbia terracottas.In the 16th and 17th centuries there was a substantial increase in the number of altars in the Duomo, reaching a total of 14 in the 18th century.

Over the centuries the complex was restored many times; the last major intervention followed the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck the area in 1920.

On the right doorpost of the main door, at the top, you can see a strange message that has as yet not been deciphered.

Source: La guida di Barga

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