APT Basilicata

APT Basilicata

Basilicata turistica

Wall Painting

Matera: The Rock Churches

Since the origin of the inhabited area of Matera, numerous religious communities settled down in the territory between the Gravina and the Murgia, from the Benedictines (VIII century) to the Basil monks persecuted by the Turks (XII/XV century). There has therefore been a constant presence of ascetical centres and of small and big places of worship, directly dug in the rock and preserved throughout the centuries. Today it is possible to admire more than 150 rock churches, which are frescoed and often situated in ravines difficult to reach. They are spread in the territory between the Agri Valley and the Stones of Matera; among them the most important will be mentioned: ‘Madonna dell’Idris’ and ‘Saint Giovanni in Monterrone’, ‘Santa Maria de Armenis’, ‘Saint Pietro in Barisano’, ‘S. Lucia alle Malve’, ‘Santa Barbara’, ‘Madonna della Croce’ and ‘Madonna delle Tre Porte’. The Historical and Archaeological Natural Park of the Murgia and of the Rock Churches in the area of Matera has got the duty of protecting this cultural patrimony.

Tursi: St. Maria of Anglona

This beautiful mediaeval shrine is especially important for being the only evidence concerning the disappeared town of Anglona, the most important in this area in the Middle Ages. The church stands on a hill and is one of the most beautiful in Basilicata. After being declared national monument in 1931, the ‘Soprintendenza per i Beni artistici’ (Monuments and Fine Arts Board) of Basilicata started extensive restoration work inside the church. The inside frescoes are of great artistic interest; they are very beautiful and partly covered by stuccoes which have undermined the former splendour. It is very difficult to date the origins of the church, which seem to be prior to 1100.

Rivello: Convent of S. Antonio from Padova

The Convent of Sant’Antonio da Padova, built in 1515, develops around a quadrangular cloister with round arches supported by columns. The church has a wide façade with a quadrangular arcade. In the ‘pronaos’ and in the cloister there are some frescos by Giovanni Todisco. In the Eastern part of the Convent, Giovanni Todisco painted the story of the Life and Passion of Christ and the Story of the Franciscan Order; in the Refectory he painted the Last Supper. In the Northern part of the building there are some frescos by Giovanni Todisco’s son, Girolamo Todisco, representing the Deposition, Christ Dead, the Resurrection, the Transfiguration, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Ascension, the Virgin in Glory and Saint Francisco. All these frescos were painted around the third decade of the XVII century.

Ripacandida: The Church of San Donato

San Donato’s Church, National Monument, is the most ancient in the village. It is characterised by a Romanesque structure and by a portal of the XVII century. It has one nave and is articulated in four pillars along the walls, defining three sections covered by cross vaults and pointed arches. The walls are frescoed with images from the Old and New Testament, painted in the XIV century. In the Church there are also a baroque altar and a painting of the ‘Madonna degli Angeli’, by Pietrafesa.

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