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The St Tryphon (local name Sveti Tripun) cathedral dates to the 12th century; it replaced an older church built in the 8th century. This Roman Catholic cathedral is the largest and most beautiful building in Kotor. St Tryphon cathedral was consecrated on June 19, 1166. The cathedral suffered a serious damage during an earthquake in 1667 and was rebuilt after. However, due to insufficient funds the cathedral wasn’t completely reconstructed. That is why its two towers are so different one another. The cathedral was greatly damaged by another massive earthquake in April 1979, which completely devastated the Montenegrin coast. Luckily, the cathedral has been salvaged and the careful restoration of parts of its interior has been completed a few years ago. Today, this formidable piece of Romanesque architecture is showing its splendor again.
Since St Tryphon cathedral is older than many famous churches and cathedrals in Europe, it has a treasury of immense value. In its interior there are
frescos from the 14th century, a stone ornament above the main altar in which the life of St. Tryphon is depicted, as well as a relief of saints in gold and silver. The most representative works of Kotor’s masters and craftsmen are kept in this Cathedral, making its collection quite unique.
The collection of art objects includes a silver hand and a cross, decorated with ornaments and figures in relief. It is only a part of the valuable objects of the Treasury of this unique sacral building which was the City Hall in the past.
Today, the St Tryphon cathedral is the best known tourist attraction in Kotor and a symbol of the city: the Saint is depicted in the city’s coat of arms, along with a lion and the Mount of San Giovanni (St. John).
St. Tryphon Cathedral is one of Kotor’s most recognizable structures. Its two bell towers help identify its importance. Inside the cathedral are 14th century frescoes and treasures from Kotor’s past. This regal structure was built in honor of the city’s patron saint and protector It was built in honor of St Tryphon (local name Sveti Tripun), the patron and protector of the city, on the same site where an older church had already existed long ago. That earlier church was built in 809 by Andrija (Andreaccio) Saracenis, a citizen of Kotor, where the remains of the Saint were kept after being brought from Constantinople (now also known as Istanbul).