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Abbey of Saint John in Argentella

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The abbey of Saint John in Argentella (Italian pronunciation: [ˈarːdʒenːtelˈla])[dubious ] (in Italian Abbazia di San Giovanni in Argentella) is sites in Palombara Sabina, in province of Rome. For access to the abbey is necessary to follow a side-road of Via Palombarese sites between Palombara Sabina and Santa Lucia di Fonte Nuova (Italian pronunciation: [ˈsanːta ˈluːtʃia di ˈfonːte ˈnwoːva]),[dubious ] location sites 2-3 kilometres from Palombara Sabina. This side-road is site to the kilometre 34,700 of P.R. [Provincial Road, or in Italian S.P. "Strada Provinciale" (Italian pronunciation: [ˈstraːda ˈproːvinːtʃiaˈle])[dubious ] Via Palombarese (Italian pronunciation: [ˈvia ˈpaːlomːbaˈreˈse]).[dubious ] After 200-300 meters on this side-road to be arrive to the abbey. The abbey, from 1963, is branch of a laic association that be occupy of ecumenicalism: the Brotherhood of Saint Nicholas and Saint Sergio. The responsibles of the Brotherhood defends voluntarily the opening to the public of the Italian monument. The timetable of the visit are:

  • on Saturday from the 16.00 at the 18.00
  • and on Sunday from the 10.00 at the 12.00 and from the 16.00 at the 18.00[1]. In the month of August, the abbey remain closed.

History[2]

The investing of the church is to attribute second any studies by the Longobards, always second this studies, the Longobard people are pious to Saint John the Baptist . The name in Argentella is to attribute, on the contrary, to a spring of water in the near zone (maybe that of the Long Valley, in Italian Valle Lunga) [1]. A roman villa or roman temple was sites in the near zone. The plant is a Greek cross with the bazillion symbol, while other scientist hypothesizes of Benedictine use, while which other scientist hypothesizes the construction of the oratory back at the year 529, year was be building the actual church use between the VIII at the IX century. The Longobards, as it seems, use materials come from the archaeological excavations by the roman villa-temple in the near zone. In the XI century the abbey was reworks (or be re-building all the body of the church two century more in advance). From the 1284 at 1445, for order of the bishop and Lord of Palombara Sabina (Jacopo Savelli), the abbey was administers from the Hermits of Saint William. In the 1895 [2] the church was put up in Italian National Monument, while second other sources was put up in National Monument in the 1900 [3].

A curious notice:
in the 1912 when Victor Emmanuel III of Italy want to visit the church was imposed to use a window by a stair whit stakes because the door of access are be wall up in a near construction.[4]

The look

The external side[5]

The church is well harmonized with the ambient that surround the church itself. A rich vegetation surround it too. It raise on a Byzantine building of the IV century. The façade with narthex are be assimilate from a rural house near to the arcade of access with cusp. The campanile have a bell that are one of the firsts to be products in the world. In actually, the campanile is in walling with windows with triple opening (sites on third and forth floor), windows with a pair of opening (sites on the second floor) and windows with a only opening (sites on the first floor) any strips of limestone are alternate along the external walls.

The internal side[6]

The internal side is, second any scientist, in stile of Spoleto (in effects, along the Longobard influence, the Duchy of Spoleto was subdue by the Longobards). The elements in this stile are:

The plant subdivided in three naves that end every ones end in a apse. The two lateral apses, more little of the central apse, are empties, while the central are decorate with a pair of hanging down little arches, while the little window are framed from an archivolt.

The ciborium[7]

The ciborium is one of the root buildings of the abbey and are composed by a baldachin and a tabernacle and raise upstairs the altar by four column and are composed by materials of recycling, while the capital are in stucco of the XI-XII century and are in arabesque style.

  • The downstairs part is similar to a basket.
  • The upstairs part is similar to a leaf and an helices.

A decoration in row of pearls is site between the capital and the architrave. Any arches lightly prominent are sites on every side of the wall, while the decoration is in a conifer cone that sustain a cross is to delimitation of the pyramidal crowning achievement.

The frescoes[8]

Many of the frescoes are flatness, but the frescoes remaining leave deducing that are of the XIV century. The part in downstairs of the frescoes are ruined by the humidity.

  • In the right nave are two panels framed by a band red-brown painted by a namelessness artist, maybe local artist but certainly of school of Siena ordered by the Benedictines.
  • On the left is a fresco of a person with a crown (maybe a prince) with a horse, him proceeds with the hand raised with four knights on the left are be symbolized any squire in attitude of submission, maybe his servant (the sources aren’t so clear in this purpose). Three trumpeters are put forward to the noble.
  • On the background, almost covered by the vegetation, are symbolised two knights on the horse, one in the act of raise up the forward legs.
  • Saint William are symbolised with a red dress on an another white dress. The aureole is realized with stucco. The saint with the left hand keep a book. In the forward is symbolized the painter of the frescoes in attitude of prayer and thanksgiving to the saint for help him to paint every frescoes.

The frescoes are maybe of the epoch of the Hermits of Saint William.

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 Info.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Info.
  3. Info.
  4. Info
  5. Info.
  6. Info.
  7. Info.
  8. Info.

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