The cathedral of Rieti dedicated to Santa Maria Madre di Dio (Saint Mary Mother of God), also known as Saint Mary of the Assumption, was built on the foundations of the early Christian basilica, documented from as long as the V century, between 1109 and 1225.
The lower church, consecrated in 1157, evocative for its sober and composed forms, is divided into nine small naves supported by recycled columns from the ancient Roman buildings, among which a milestone column of the ancient Via Salaria

The upper one, that retains all the architectural features typical of the Romanesque approach, underwent radical transformations following the liturgical norms and the change in taste and style.
Of particular value is the decoration of the main portal which interprets the motif of the acanthus leaves, with a clear classical assonance, reinterpreted in the Christian iconography of the tree of life.

The two cornu Epistulæ and cornu Evangelii chapels represent a refined compendium of the sacred art, from Renaissance to Neoclassical style.
Moreover, worthy of note: the chapels of the transept, dedicated to Our Lady of the People and to the Blessed Sacrament, and the chapel dedicated to the saint patron, St. Barbara, with the statue by G.B. Mari, pupil of Bernini, who directly took care of its design.