Overlooking the city of La Spezia, laying on the former Capuchin Friars hill is La Spezia’s main catholic church. A controversial building’s architecture caused it the nickname of “alien fell from the sky”, “flying saucer”, “Scrooge McDuck’s mansion” and others, but La Spezia’s cathedral features in its avangarde design an interesting Christian symbolism.
Walking along the promenade of La Spezia, situated on the former Hill of the Capuchins, overlooking the Europa Square, there is the Cathedral “Christ the King”. Compared to other cathedrals, the style is more modern and simple, the surfaces are rough, no shiny or colorful baroque materials, but it dominates the city and faces the sea proudly. It is the the realization of an extremely complex project dealt with technologies and materials experimental at the time in Italy, architect Adalberto Libera’s synthesis of humanity and creativity. Like for the Church of San Pietro in Portovenere, Christian symbolism, design, local culture and topography have inspired also this religious building of the area: La Spezia community has been returned the city of La Spezia in the form of a building .
The church plan was first approved in 1929, when the Bishop of La Spezia announces the National Competition for the project of the Cathedral, but the war suspended the works, thirty years later, the contest winner recognizes humbly that his neoclassical project is anachronistic. At that time the place on which the church was to be built had been restricted and conditioned by various after-war urbanistic interventions which made the project’s realization not easy. The challange was met by Adalberto Libera with not much added to the basic plan and the to the archaic conception of the Christian tradition: the Church as a community of people bound by faith and held to God, expressed by the church’s circular shape.The symbolism is also expressed in the base containing the main room for the believers (ground), the reinforced concrete roof shaped like a hyperbolic paraboloid (sky), held by twelve pillars also made of reinforced concrete (apostles) and connected to the perimeter stand by windows band (light of God that surrounds the assembly and brings new life and rebirth).
In 2016, special Jubileum of Mercy’s year called by Pope Francis, one of the Holy Doors through which he wishes the Jubilee to be celebrated not only in Rome but all around the world for the first time is right here, in Cristo Re La Spezia Cathedral. In the coming Easter celebrated in La Spezia, pay a visit to this unique La Spezia’s attraction.