Episcopal Complex and MUCRIS

A complex for the Capital of Duchy of Friuli

The Episcopal Complex, renovated by Patriarch Callixtus, consisted of a group of buildings: a church, the Baptistery of Saint John the Baptist and the Patriarch’s residence. Two of the most important works of Lombard sculpture come from the baptistery: the Tegurium of Callixtus, an octagonal canopy that covered the baptismal font, and the Altar of Ratchis, the only Lombard period artefact on which a narrative biblical theme is depicted.

The buildings in the complex

Patriarch Callixtus (AD 737- 757 ) was responsible for the renovation and enlargement of the ecclesiastical complex that stands on the high ground immediately north of the Valle area, which became seat of the bishopric in the Lombard period: it is composed of a group of interconnected buildings including the religious premises of the church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Baptistery of San Giovanni Battista (embellished by the Tegurium of Callixtus and the Altar of Ratchis) and the Patriarch’s Palace. The remains of the buildings are now mostly buried beneath the current cathedral of Cividale, (rebuilt in the 15th century), whereas those of the Patriarch’s residence have been brought to light in the area of the Palazzo dei Provveditori Veneti, now seat of the National Archaeological Museum. Both the Tegurium of Callixtus and the Altar of Ratchis are now kept – together with other pieces of Early Medieval sculpture –  in the Christian Museum and Cathedral Treasury (MUCRIS), next to the cathedral itself.


The Christian Museum of Cividale del Friuli is housed in the religious buildings in the episcopal complex, in rooms next to the cathedral constructed in 1946 between the courtyard and the wall of the right side-aisle. It is composed of 4 rooms: one contains Lombard art, the second religious gold objects – the cathedral treasure, the third a collection of paintings, and the fourth ecclesiastical vestments.

The Altar of Ratchis and the Tegurium of Callixtus, which may both be seen in the Christian Museum and Cathedral Treasury, offer a truly striking experience of Lombard period sculpture.

The Altar of Ratchis

The altar is a rectangular object composed of marble slabs, four of which are sculpted with representations framed by decorative motifs: on the front of the altar Christ Blessing, flanked by cherubs, is carried in triumph by angels; on the sides are depicted scenes from the life of Christ relating to the Visitation, the Virgin and Saint Elizabeth, and the Adoration of the Magi. The figures are made dynamic and given great chromatic prominence by their densely grooved garments.

An outstanding example of Lombard sculpture

An opening on the back revealing the holy relics is flanked by crosses with gems, while the lower field is filled with floral motifs. 

Built in the fifth decade of the 8th century, this altar is one of the most striking sculptural works of the Lombard era. It was embellished by precious stones inserted in small cavities in the floral elements, crosses, cherubs’ wings and probably also in the eyes of certain figures. It was all brightly coloured.

Tegurium of Callixtus

The tegurium, commissioned by Patriarch Callixtus for the octagonal font of the baptistery of the church of Santa Maria, was composed of eight marble arches supported by columns with elegant imitation Corinthian capitals. The arches are placed at the eight corners of the octagonal parapet that surrounds the basin of the font. The arches are bordered by bands with braid motifs and plant shoots, peacocks, lions, lambs, fish, griffins and fawns are sculpted with clarity and realism, in facing pairs on the sides of the archivolts and surrounded by other decorative floral elements. These are Christian symbolic representations linked to redemption, with animals drinking at the spring of salvation, a theme central to baptism. On the upper frame of the arches there is a dedicatory inscription in capital letters that records the work’s  commission by Patriarch Callixtus. The dedicatory inscription on the upper cornice of the Altar of Ratchis indicates that it was a gift of King Ratchis in memory of his father Pemmo, Duke of Cividale.


Info and contacts

Episcopal Complex
Via Monastero Maggiore, 34, 33043
Cividale del Friuli UD
ticket office 432 700867
reservations 432 710460
Mail. info@tempiettolongobardo.it
Full Price € 4,00

Free for:
– children under 8 years old
– EU guides
– EU handicap and any accompanying persons
– MiBACT personnel
– ICOM members
– FVG CARD holders*
– leader of a school group
Reduced price for adults €3.00
– people between the ages of 18 and 25 (NOT students) 
– people over 65 years of age
– groups of minimum 15 people
Reduced children € 1.50
– 8-18 years old
– Students up to 25 years old
 school groups (accompanying teacher enters for free)

Opening Time

from April 1st to September 30th
Monday 10.00 – 13.00 / 15.00 – 18.00
Tuesday 10.00 – 13.00 / 15.00 – 18.00
Wednesday 10.00 – 13.00 / 15.00 – 18.00
Thursday 10.00 – 13.00 / 15.00 – 18.00
Friday 10.00 – 13.00 / 15.00 – 18.00
Saturday 10.00 – 18.00
Sunday 10.00 – 18.00
from October 1st to March 31st
Monday 10.00 – 13.00 / 14.00 – 17.00
Tuesday 10.00 – 13.00 / 14.00 – 17.00
Wednesday 10.00 – 13.00 / 14.00 – 17.00
Thursday 10.00 – 13.00 / 14.00 – 17.00
Friday 10.00 – 13.00 / 14.00 – 17.00
Saturday 10.00 – 17.00
Sunday 10.00 – 17.00

Info and contacts

Christian Museum and Cathedral Treasury
Via G.B. Candotti, 1 – 33043 Cividale del Friuli (UD)
Ticket office 0432 730403
Reservations +39 349 3541668
Mail info@mucris.it


Full price €4.00; Reduced price for adults €3.00; Reduced student € 2.00.
Combined tickets are available for the other museums in Cividale.

Opening Time

From April to September
Monday – Tuesday closed *
Wednesday – Sunday 10-13 and 15-18
from October to March
Monday – Tuesday closed*
Wednesday – Sunday 10-13 and 15-17 
*On Mondays and Tuesdays it is possible to arrange the extraordinary opening of the museum for visits by groups of more than 5 people.
For information call no. +39 0432 730403