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Benevento

 

The church of Santa Sofia was built in about 760 by Arechis II, Duke of Benevento, both as a personal chapel for the redemption of his soul and a national sanctuary for the salvation of the Longobard people.
The open-plan interior contains columns and pillars arranged so as to form a concentric hexagon and decagon; reused Roman capitals crown the columns and are also employed, inverted, as bases.
In the two minor apses are preserved the most important elements of a pictorial cycle dedicated to stories from the life of Christ, which once covered the entire interior of the church. A monastery was annexed to the church; this now houses the Museo del Sannio (Samnium Museum) and features a Romanesque cloister, rebuilt using several original Longobard architectural pieces.