The feature of the Malatesta temple is that it was built according to a unique project, where the architectural features of the ancient era, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Epoque are connected.
Initially, in its place, there was the church of the Virgin Mary of the 9th century. 4 centuries later, it was rebuilt to a Gothic one and turned to the church of St. Francis. Only in the 15th century the cathedral got the modern look and served as the tomb of the famous Malatesta family in Italy.
The ruler of Rimini Sigismondo Malatesta ordered the architect Leon Battist Alberti to make the project of the cathedral in honor of his third wife. The sculptor Matteo di Andrea de Pasti made the reconstruction and interior of the cathedral.
According to Alberti’s design, the top of the cathedral should have a magnificent dome, having no analogs in Italy. But he could not make that project in reality. In 1460, Malatesta was excommunicated and the building of the cathedral stopped. And after his death, many treasures of the cathedral were lost.
The Malatesta cathedral is made of marble and decorated with various sculptures. The fresco by Piero della Francesca “Sigismondo Malatesta before his heavenly patron” and the crucifix made by the famous Italian artist Giotto, which decorate the cathedral, are worth attention.
In seven chapels, located to the right of the entrance to the cathedral, are buried the members of the Malatesta family. There are kept the sarcophagus of Malatesta himself, his three wives, the tombs of several ancestors, and other famous people of Rimini.
It is interesting that there is an SI monogram everywhere in the cathedral, it signifies the first letters of the names of the couple of Malatesta - Sigismundo and Isotta. The cathedral also has images of an elephant and a rose hip. It is not surprising, because it is the symbol of the Malatesta family.
After the Second World War, the tomb was almost destroyed. It was restored just in 2000. That time, the cathedral got its initial form.
It is interesting that people know about the construction not just in Italy, but also outside. That place was mentioned even in the "Portrait of Dorian Gray." Oscar Wilde calls the tomb "the cult of shameful passion."