Saint Mary of the Castle - Valle Lomellina

Known since 1250, it was subjected to numerous transformations and restorations. A noteworthy one happened in 1977, bringing to light a few frescoes, proof of the local culture.

Photo gallery
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Article description

The Church of Saint Mary of the Castle, the founding year of which is unknown, although it was mentioned with this title among the register of Churches in Lomellina ever since 1250, has always been considered among the different properties of the nearby Castle and, just like the latter, it was subjected to transformations and even restorations through the years, before becoming municipal property recently.

Built on a natural elevation of the ground, standing not far from the entrance to the ancient fortress, to which it acted as a chapel for many centuries, the small church showcases typically Romanesque structures to this day, though they have been almost entirely eliminated by later interventions, stratified over the course of centuries.

The most ancient foundation and the left wall appear to be artifacts dating back between the XI and XII century, while everything else is the result of later modifications, among which we should mention the one from the eighteenth century, patronized by the Litta family. Later the Church along with the Castle started a rapid descent into decay, that rendered it at first forgotten and then used as a storage room for grain.

It was only in 1977 that the restoration of the walls and the remaking of the flooring was decided. During the construction works a few frescoes, which had been covered by plastering until that point, were uncovered by chance.

This is how the discoverer, prof. Alberto Ghinzani, described the experience: “If I hadn’t entered by chance a decade ago (1977), intrigued by these old walls which narrated adventures forgotten by most and if a mark on the plaster hadn’t pushed me to discover what was hiding behind the mortar, we would’ve probably lost a precious proof of the local culture and art. Little by little the faces and the figures emerging from the void of history, a series of painting was being pieced together the same way the faith and religious imagery of their time had hung it on the walls.”

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