The Fabbriceria is the body that has been taking care of the administration and maintenance of the Cathedral since the Middle Ages.


The history

The Fabbriceria is the body that has been taking care of the administration and maintenance of the Cathedral since the Middle Ages. It was probably set up in the early decades of the 12th century, during the episcopate of Bernardo degli Uberti, when some documents mention the Laborerio (workshop) of the Cathedral. The first-known names of fabbriceri are those in the 1281 epigraph engraved on the lintel of the main portal: Guido, Nicolò, Bernardino and Benvenuto.

The Fabbriceria of the Cathedral of Parma commissioned and supervised the construction of the Cathedral and the Baptistery in Piazza Duomo, and in the following centuries continued the work of preservation and maintenance of these monumental buildings, the symbol and the expression in stone of the role of mother church of the Diocese and, as they still are today by statute, the Episcopal seat.  Through its history, the Fabbriceria has consisted of members appointed by the Bishop and by the municipal administration of the city and chosen among the best families of the local aristocracy.

The economic viability of the organization was guaranteed by the proceeds from very extensive landed property and from the income from a number of mills belonging exclusively to the Fabbriceria; this wealth was confiscated by the Italian state through the Siccardi laws of 1861, so that the Fabbriceria is now totally devoid of financial resources. The Lateran Treaty of 1929 raised the number of vestrymen from five to seven and they are appointed by the Minister of the Interior based on a proposal of the Prefect of the city, with the Bishop being responsible for choosing two of them.  They have a three-year mandate, and are entrusted with the Cathedral and Baptistery Fabbrica, which has been a presence for so long in the life of the city and of the Diocese.