Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul

This is the main sacred building of the town, located in the western part of Sovana at the end of the classic walk that is taken when visiting the village, almost separated from the town centre, in the area where the Etruscan acropolis probably stood.

The Cathedral of Sovana dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul is a construction of medieval origin, its origins are traced back with certainty to the 11th century, but there are documents that testify to its existence already in the 9th century, the façade appears in Gothic, a large portal with two arches where the soul of a man rising towards Paradise, a Warrior with a Sword, some Spirals, two peacocks and some flowers are depicted.

Entering from the left side you arrive inside, in the heart of the structure. The Cathedral is divided into three naves, houses a baptismal font dating back to 1434, and some important frescoes and paintings.

The depictions of some biblical characters also on the capitals of the columns are interesting: Adam and Eve, Moses parting the waters of the Red Sea, Daniel among the lions and the Sacrifice of Isaac.

In the urn on the altar of the left nave, there is “The Urn of San Mamiliano”, a relic that probably belonged to the church of the same name which contains the remains of the Saint. Also inside the Cathedral there is a six-column crypt and a 15th-century travertine sarcophagus.

What makes this church even more fascinating is its particular astronomical orientation. On June 21st of each year, on the day of the summer solstice, the first ray of the morning sun hits the single-lancet window of the apse and, crossing the entire nave, projects itself onto the opposite wall, creating a spectacle of rare beauty; the same phenomenon is also repeated in the early Christian crypt below. This means that the orientation of the building does not comply with the medieval rules of the Church of Rome (which required the apse to face east) but instead follows the canons of Nordic cultures (Celtic-Germanic and/or Lombard). On this occasion, every 21st of June, a real event is organized in the Cathedral called “Summer Solstice”, in which many onlookers await the infamous first ray of sunshine at dawn.

Standard time

-Every day 10am-1pm/3pm-sunset

-3 August/8 September 9.30am-7.30pm


-Full price 2.50

-Reduced 1.00

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