It occupies a small piazza, too narrow to get a view of the whole.
Seen from a diagonal perspective, its scale seems even bigger than the real proportions. We walk there through a labyrinth of alleys, almost out on a limb – even the bell tower is not visible from the street – and all of a sudden, here there is, the Sant’Andrea’s Cathedral. It overlooks the narrow pave around, it shines, entirely dressed in white marble.
The facade tells us of a story of stilistic adjustments in the course of many centuries: the polychrome marble decoration with pale and dark marble stone in the lower section, coexists with the Gothic central rose window and the upper order of columns topped with sculpted heads. A rich collection of animals, a panoply of human and mythological figures, floral and geometric friezes catch the attention and nonetheless kepp their allegorical meaning secrete.
The Fourteenth Century bell tower is exactly as tall as the length of the central nave, 33 meters, the sacred number of Christ’s age, while even more surprising it is the astronomical orientation on the East-West axis – like most of the churches from the high medieval period – with a twiddle that was initially considered to be an error of the builders, but that turned out to be purposely linked to the rotation of the Sun.
Scholars believe that in the past, on November 30th – St.Andrea’s day – the rising sun would penetrate into the church through a window of the apse, illuminating the Eucharist Cup.
The Duomo of Carrara is a moving architectural spectacle. Not to be missed!
Source: Trame di Lunigiana