The Cathedral of St. Mary of Purification is located in the oldest settlement of Termoli, also said o’paese vicchie, the old village. It is currently one of the most important church of Molise Region and it represents the period of maximum economic expansion of the city – Middle Ages. Whit a magnificent and gorgeous aspect, it has the entrance door that is reached by climbing nine external steps.
The Cathedral was built over a pre-existing religious building, in turn, built in the 4th century, on a pagan temple dedicated to Castor and Pollux, the two Dioscuri, figures from Greek and Roman mythology, twin sons of Zeus. The Cathedral is in Romanesque style, on a basilica map, with no transept and it is composed by three naves. The facade has an oldest lower section and a most recent upper section adorned with a rose window. The external columns were adorned with animal figures but, currently, it remains two lions and a griffon. The sculptural decoration of the capitals is very rich with foliage spaced by human figures in the frontal position. There is the presence of blind double-arched window, one of which (the first on the left) with the representation of Annunciation: the angel with lily in her hand and the sitting Virgin. Near the central lunette, there are four statues representing the most important Saints in Termoli. Only the statue of St. Basso remains intact. Two depicted St. Sebastian and St. Timothy, while there are not enough elements to identify who was the fourth Saint. Inside the Cathedral, near the third span, on both sides, there are the stairs to access to the crypt (or lower church). It reserves the 1239 tombstone that covers the urn containing the bones of St. Timothy, traces of the preexisting pagan temple and the sarcophagus of St. Basso.
The Cathedral is open to everyone. Its external staircase is a meeting point for the population, especially during summer evenings.