|A golden statue of Saint Alexander decorates the top of Bergamo Cathedral. Bergamo, Italy 2013.|
Two more views of Duomo di Bergamo and the golden statue of Saint Alexander atop the dome, shot from the top of the clock tower in Piazza Vecchia.
It is not certain who Saint Alexander was. He might have been a Roman soldier or simply a resident of Bergamo who was tortured and killed for not renouncing Christianity.
As early as the 9th century, there were two cathedrals in Bergamo. One was the basilica of Saint Alexander and the other, which stood on the site of the present cathedral, was dedicated to Saint Vincent. The Venetians destroyed the basilica of Saint Alexander in 1561 and left the city with only Saint Vincent’s.
In 1697, the Bishop of Bergamo Gregorio Barbarigo obtained from Pope Innocent XI the Exponi nobis (papal bull) which established a single cathedral for the diocese, changing the dedication of the cathedral from Saint Vincent to Saint Alexander.
The Saint Alexander Cathedral was redesigned by the Swiss Italian architect Carlo Fontana in the late 17th century. The Neo-classical west front of the building was completed almost two centuries later in 1889.