APT Basilicata

APT Basilicata

Basilicata turistica

Painting and Sculpture in the Lucanian Churches

Maratea: The 44 Churches

In the old centre there are many buildings and monuments of great historical and architectonic value, amongst them there are also many churches. Maratea is in fact also known as the town of the 44 churches, were many artistic works are kept. Among the most beautiful churches there are San Vito’s Church, the oldest one, Santa Maria Maggiore, which faces the square with the same name, the Church of the Annunziata, where a marble relief and a bust-reliquary of San Biagio are kept. In some of the churches in Maratea there are some late Byzantine frescos and some others of the XVII century. Some churches are decorated with stone lions; some of them show paintings of the XVI century and canvases of the XVIII century, old coats of arms, wooden choirs of the XVIII century and many other masterpieces.

Matera: The Cathedral

The Cathedral of Matera is located in the ‘civita’, on a spur between the two ‘Sassi’, where anciently Sant'Eustachio Church rose. Its erection, wanted by the Archbishop Andrea, began in 1230 and was finished forty years later, in 1270. The Cathedral has a ‘romanico-pugliese’ style and an external plant of three aisles: the central one is higher and has five side-windows. The front door, which is on its main façade, is overheaded by the statue of the ‘Madonna della Bruna’, whereas on the side-façades there are St. Pietro and Paolo, St. Eustachio (patron of the town together with the ‘Madonna della Bruna’) and St. Teopista. Its Latin cross is divided into three aisles delimited by ten columns with figurative medieval capitals. The Cathedral, renewed in the XVIII century, does not display much of its original decorations.

Acerenza: The Cathedral

Work of extreme fascination, the Cathedral of S. Maria Assunta and San Canio is a grand monument dating back to the year 1000 which replaces an old Early Christian Church. Its tradition, linked to the miracles lavished by the Saint in the past, makes it the Cathedral of wonders. Its stone façade has a portal with an entirely engraved frame. On this there is an arch supported by two thin columns resting on two human shaped sculptures. On the top section, the light penetrates in the Church, filtered through the variously decorated glasses of a rose window. The inside has a cross-shaped layout, a nave and two aisles delimited by 10 pillars, a transept and an apse covered by cross vaults. It is mostly bare and uniform, as to testify the simplicity of the soul devoted to contemplation and to spiritual reflection. Nevertheless a work of great value is kept in it: a polyptych representing the ‘Madonna del Rosario’, ‘Quindici Misteri’ and ‘SS. Domenico e Tommaso’ painted by Antonio stabile in 1583.

Venosa: The Trinità Abbey

Exploring old Venusia, attention is caught by the fascinating Complex of the SS. Trinità (Holy Trinity). It is one of the biggest and most valuable monuments in the South of Italy. It was built on a previous pagan temple, dedicated to Imene, goddess of weddings. The peculiar story connected to its building makes it a unique work. It was meant to be formed by two churches, an old one and a new one, which should probably take the place of the former; the new one was though never completed, this is the reason why it is famous as the ‘Incompiuta’ (Unfinished). The old church dates back to the V-VI centuries. It has a nave and two aisles covered by round arches, a transept, an apse and an ambulatory with mosaics floor. Just beside there is the ‘new church’: without any cover at all, it stands in contrast between open space and enclosed space, light and shade, creating a spectacular effect of great fascination.

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