Brugnato, La Spezia, Italy Published date: April 17, 2018


Immersed in the natural scenery of the Montemarcello-Magra Park, a secret dwelling of the cinerone heron, Brugnato stands on the banks of the Vara river. From the river were obtained the stones to make lime and firewood, when the village was still enclosed in the circle of its moat. The aerial photos make it possible to distinguish the elliptical central nucleus, built around the bishop's citadel as a fortified circular village. It all began in Brugnato in the first half of the twelfth century, when the small village became a bishop's seat and the cathedral was built.
The building has two naves divided by columns and stands on the remains of two pre-existing churches, the oldest of which, located under the current nave, can be dated to the Byzantine era (sixth century). At the center of the apse, the three severe faces in rough-hewn stone with apotropaic function represent the saints Pietro, Lorenzo and Colombano, co-owners of the cathedral. The third column, facing the main nave, is a 15th century fresco depicting Saint Anthony Abbot, recognizable (but some see you again San Colombano) with a mantle and a hermit's staff. Recent restorations have brought to light on the wall of the minor aisle a valuable fresco of the sixteenth century, depicting the Presentation of Jesus at the temple. Crystals placed on the modern floor allow you to see the archaeological complex below. The first Benedictine settlement emerged under the nave, that is to say a single-chamber church of which the perimeter walls remain, the terracotta paving, the baptismal font. From 1133, and for several centuries, the Bishop's Palace, built on the site of the ancient Abbey of San Colombano, next to the cathedral church, was the residence of the bishops. The building has undergone several alterations, as can be seen from the Baroque style works commissioned by the bishop Giovan Battista Paggi between 1655 and 1663. Today the Episcopio is home to the Diocesan Museum. The popular devotion was addressed to the oratories: that at the beginning of the village, near Porta Soprana, is today dedicated to San Bernardo and is home to the ancient and homonymous Confraternity. It arose probably as a place of prayer for the travelers hosted in the nearby hospice dedicated to Saint Anthony. From the Oratory of Saints Rocco and Caterina, near Porta Sottana, to the east of the historical center, only the beautiful sandstone portal remains. Among the bishops of the diocese of Brugnato there were, between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, at least four Franciscan friars, but only in 1603 the Franciscan order was authorized to build a convent in Brugnato. The monastery and the adjoining church of San Francesco were completed in 1635. In 1843 the convent and church passed to the barefoot clergymen called Passionists, an order founded by Saint Paul of the Cross. In the hills a few kilometers from the town, the sanctuary of Nostra Signora dell'Ulivo originates from one of the many oratories that the monks of the ancient abbey of Brugnato built in their estates to pray and officiate during the day. The current construction dates back to the seventeenth century. But it is above all the piazzas Maggiore and San Pietro, the volumes of the Romanesque apses, the welcoming atmosphere that makes the stay in Brugnato pleasant. The Romanesque bridge over the Vara river, probably of Roman origin, remains to be seen. It was the link between the Apennines and the sea, along the high medieval road that led from Pontremoli to Sestri Levante.

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      Brugnato, La Spezia, Italy


      Published date: April 17, 2018

      Views: 24

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