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Tempio Malatestiano

One of the most important monuments of Rimini is the Tempio Malatestiano, planned by the architect Leon Battista Alberti around 1450 for Sigismondo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini during the 15th century and commander of great military reputation. The Tempio Malatestiano, usually called by the citizens the Cathedral, is the greatest church of Rimini.

The church is called Tempio (temple), because Sigismondo Malatesta wanted a building without Christian symbols. In the original structure incredibly not a cross neither a saint is previewed. As in a pagan temple the chapels are entitled to the Muses, the Zodiac, the Innocents, to the children 's games: in the building moreover are buried Sigismondo Malatesta and his three wives, among which Isotta degli Atti. The letters S and I (for Sigismondo and Isotta) are continuously repeated in all the church, as a commemoration of their love.

The structure planned by Alberti was never completed. The plan of the building comprised also a wide dome, while today we can see, in contrast to the marble facade, a simple wooden roof. The apse was destroyed during the bombing of the World War II, and was reconstructed without decorations: recently a crucifix by Giotto, painted Rimini between 1308 and 1312 has been placed here.

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