The main cathedral of the Italian city of Matera

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Set high up on a spur between the two natural bowls of the sassi, the wan, graceful exterior of the 13th-century Pugliese-Romanesque cathedral makes the neobaroque excess within all the more of a surprise. Following 13 years of renovation, it's possible once again to admire the ornate capitals, sumptuous chapels, 17th-century frescoes, 13th-century Byzantine Madonna and two 12th-century frescoed crypts, uncovered in the works. Note the pediments mounted on the cathedral's altars, which come from Greek temples at Metaponto.