photo © Louise Shapcott
Churches of Fontechiari
Church of Santi Giovanni Battista and Evangelista
The Church of Santi Giovanni Battista, Evangelista e Nicola dates from the Medieval ages but has been restructured many times over the ages. The current 18th century building is an imposing structure which dominates the town’s skyline for afar. This was designed by Giacomo Del Sole. It has a fine Baroque façadewith two niches which hold statues of the saints and a small bell tower. Inside the church there are several notable 18th century paintings and two carved wooden statues representing two the two virtues. There is also some decorative woodwork such as the compass, the choir, the organ and sacristy.
Church of Santa Maria Dei Fratelli
The Sanctuary of the Madonna dei Fratelli, former convent of the Madonna delle Grazie, is located a few steps from the center of the village. It houses a valuable painting of the Madonna dei Fratelli, attributed to the school of Cavalier D’Arpino, a splendid wooden Christ on the Crucifix of the XIII century and an 18th century pipe organ built by Cesare Catarinozzi. Outside, on the façade there is a ceramic mosaic of the Madonna.
Church of Santa Lucia
The small country church of Santa Lucia is located in the hamlet of Santa Lucia. It was built in 937 by the Benedictine monks. It is the oldest in the village and preserves, on the external façade, a painting of the Santa Martire, while inside, in a niche, there is a painting of a black Madonna and Child.
Church of Sant’Anna
The Church of Sant’Anna is located in the Cisterna district of Fontechiari.
The Hermitage of Sant’Onofrio
In a hidden corner of Fontechiari, close to the Rio stream and the Napoleonic cemetery Fontechiari, stands one of the rarest hermitages of Ciociaria. It consists of a large cave divided into three sub-sections, closed by a wall which forms a church that was dedicated to Sant’Onofrio. It was founded by monks of the Basilian order was later frequented by Franciscan friars. The exact date of construction is uncertain. Inside there is an altar entirely frescoed with the representation of the Sant’Onofrio Anacoreta and eight squares depicting scenes of his life. On the external façade there are paintings of saints and sacred Christian symbols, dating back to 1517-1520 and the remains of a stone bell tower. The caves also have paintings on the inside and outside. Sadly the site is in a very poor state of repair.
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