The fulcrum of the religious life of Lecce is located in Piazza Duomo, in the heart of Lecce Vecchia, a stone’s throw from Piazza S. Oronzo. Piazza Duomo includes a series of monuments that all overlook the splendid Piazza: the Cathedral of the Duomo, the palaces of the Vescovado and the Seminary, the Campanile.
The original construction of the Cathedral was commissioned by Bishop Formoso in 1144, about a century later, in 1230, Bishop Volturio wanted to carry out some renovations, but in 1659-70 it was totally restored by Bishop Pappacoda, who entrusted the task to Gustavo Zimbalo, in those years also committed to building the splendid bell tower adjacent to it.
Through its subdivision of spaces through fluted pilasters, the façade proposes the internal division into three naves. To embellish his two stylistic orders there are the statues of San Gennaro, San Ludovico da Tolosa, San Pietro and San Paolo.
Two entrances located near the transept lead to the crypt of the medieval cathedral. The crypt was rebuilt in the early 1500s. The crypt has a longitudinal body containing two baroque chapels with paintings that crosses a long corridor made up of ninety-two columns with capitals decorated with human figures.