Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral is situated close to the sacred area of the Roman forum surrounded by the cryptoporticus. At the end of the Roman Empire this place retained its sanctity because of the construction of the first domus ecclesia, where Christians could meet and receive the sacrament of Baptism.
The Romanesque church was made by bishop Anselmo around year 1000: the building is split in three naves with two towers, an apsis and another building built on the cryptoporticus. The church had two symmetrical buildings: one dedicated to S. John the Baptist, which was a parish church, the other dedicated to the Virgin,
Between the 12th and 14th centuries the Cathedral was embellished with floor mosaics in the choirs, colored glass windows and the construction of a gothic ambulatory area, a ring-like corridor around the choir.
At the end of the 15th century the choir and the west apsis were demolished, and the Renaissance facade depicting the Virgin, to whom the Cathedral is dedicated, was built. To the facade a neo-classical front section was added in 1848.
On the northern side there is a cloister built in the 15th century, which was partially demolished during 19th century and replaced with a neo-gothic Rosary chapel.
The Cathedral hosts also a Treasure Museum and it provides a significant overview of the art in the Aosta Valley and exhibits artworks from the Cathedral and from different parish churches of the Aosta Valley.
Discover here the guided tour of the Roman and Medieval town of Aosta