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Church of Santa Sofia

Overview

Prominent in front of the church of Santa Sofia, in its square opening off Corso Garibaldi, is an obelisk dedicated in the early 19th century to Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, the great French statesman who was Prince of Benevento during the decades of Napoleon and the subsequent Restoration. But the church is a millennium older, and has a truly original architecture: only once inside – or perhaps only by abstracting your mind – do you realise how daring is the fusion that its plan materialises between a hexagon and a half-star. It is more spontaneous to notice the carved lunette above the entrance portal with its Roman columns, to take in the refined visual interplay between the pillars and columns supporting the dome, or to stop and observe the remains of the frescoes adorning the right (Gospel scene) and left apses (stories of St Zacharias). For the discerning tourist, a series of outdoor panels illustrate the layout of Santa Sofia and the history of the archaeological excavations in the square.

Even more than for its architecture, the church has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2011 because of the circumstances of its foundation. Together with the adjoining monastery - now included in the Sannio Museum - it was built in the second half of the 8th century by the Lombard Duke Arechi II.

Hours

Sunday - Saturday
08:00 am-12:00 pm
04:30 pm-08:00 pm
Church of Santa Sofia

piazza Santa Sofia, 82100 Benevento BN, Italia

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