The current appearance of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is the result of the reconstruction carried out after the French troops set the building on fire in 1798.
According to tradition, the original structure dates back to the 5th century when the presence of a Bishop in Nepi was first registered. The numerous Roman remains, found in close proximity to the Cathedral during archaeological excavations, also suggest that the church was built in the area where the Roman forum used to be.
It is impossible to precisely date the period of the original construction however some fragments of sculptural ornaments in Carolingian style – still visible on its façade under the portico – suggest the presence of an ecclesiastic building already in the 9th century.
A new church was then consecrated in 1266, as stated by an inscription inside the building: what remains of this church, probably built between the 11th and the 13th century, are the portico, the lower part of the bell tower and the beautiful crypt whose columns are surmounted by capitals decorated with Medieval ornaments.
Visiting the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is like travelling back in time, from the Roman era to the modern age, through many different styles that coexist in harmony in a solemn atmosphere.