Year: built before 1074, finished in 1178 (decorations changed until 16th century)
Architectural style: Romanesque art
Together with the adjacent Baptistery, Parma Cathedral is, for sure, one of the most important witnesses of the Romanesque art in the area of the Po Valley. Its architectural structure is particularly complex, as proved by the works, lasted for almost four centuries (11th–16th century).
Great artists worked to its construction, starting with the most eminent Romanesque sculptor Benedetto Antelami (1150–1230 or so) and the genius of Baroque art Antonio Allegri, so-called Correggio (1489 – 1534).
The gabled façade is made of solid stone and divided into three orders, placed one on the other.
At the height of the first order are three entrance gates to the cathedral. The central one is worth a mention: It features the prothyrum with lions at the base, created in 1281 by Giambono da Bissone. On the lower part is a sculpted sequence dating back to the first decades of the 12th century; the bass-relief features the succession of the months, starting with March. The second order is composed of two tiers of small loggias with three-mullioned windows and little Verona marble columns. Lastly, the third order is a gallery that follows the roof sloping.