The Cathedral in Terni is dedicated to Maria Assunta and is said to have sprung from the hand of Bernini who oversaw the restoration requested by cardinal Rapaccioli in the middle of the 17th century. The original nucleus of the church dates back to the 6th century, the time of the bishopric of Sant'Anastasio who then was laid to rest in the pre-existing crypt, and who, until 1600, was protector of Terni together with San Procolo and San Valentino. Precisely, the church of San Valentino was the cathedral of Terni at that time until the Diocese of Terni was suppressed in the 8th century. Five hundred years later, after the reconstruction of the Diocese, the Municipal of Terni wanted to build a new cathedral, in a less decentralized area, and less exposed to Terni's enemies than San Valentino. The church desired by Sant'Anastasio became larger and wealthier, hosting important relics such as that of the Precious Blood of Jesus, and a splinter from the Cross. Terni had become a rich Municipal, so rich that the Pope had to intervene to curb luxury and the too liberal behaviour with a strong reference to the observance of Christian rules. Evidence remains on the jamb of the central Portal of the Cathedral where the exact shape - modest - of the shoes women were supposed to wear. The Cathedral, already rich with paintings and ornaments, has been embellished with contemporary artworks in recent years: from the doors to interior furnishings.
If any doubts remain about the attribution to Bernini of the restoration of the facade, much more consistent is the hypothesis held that it was Bernini himself who intervened in the designing of some of the inside works, among these the pulpit, the main altar, both of which no longer exist, and the organs which can still be admired today. The bell tower was built, however, in the middle of the the 1700s, after an earthquake had destroyed the original one which had dated back to the 16th century. That was not the only damaged caused by the quake, because the cathedral was also seriously damaged at the beginning of the 1930s, resulting in the need for a substantial consolidation intervention, whose project was awarded to the architect Marcello Piacentini. At the same time the existing floor was made, in Levanto stone, and the facade, to which a balustrade was added, was badly retouched. Statues of San Valentino and another seven bishops of Terni, who became saints, were added. The inside furnishings have been lost almost completely and those found today date back to the early 1900s. The cathedral, already rich in paintings and ornaments, though few of them are antique, has been embellished with contemporary works of art over recent years, from the doors to interior furnishing. Next to the church, the bishopric (built on part of the amphitheatre) and the diocesan museum, rich in works of art.