Architettura dell’età ottoniana in Italia: il deambulatorio e il culto delle reliquie

Author: Carlo Tosco

Ottonian architecture in Italy: the ambulatory and the worship of relics

The work covers the history of Ottonian architecture in Italy, with reference to the development of the ambulatory in churches which housed important reliquary treasures. At the time, the kingdom of Italy was part of the Germanic Empire and the bishops who promoted the construction of buildings which adhered to the Renovatio Imperii policy. The ambulatory existed in early Christian architecture but it acquired importance only in the constructive renewal that began around the middle of the 10th century. The research starts from the reconstruction of Ravenna cathedral and continues with the examination of operations in Ivrea cathedral and in Verona’s S. Stefano, analysing the sources available, the remaining structures and the role played by the bishops who commissioned the works. Lastly, the links with Italy evident in the architecture of St. Michael’s church in Hildesheim, commissioned by bishop Bernward, are considered.