Travel: Culture & Architecture

Small Spaces and Spiritual Intimacy

italylake_0071

Chiesa di San Remigio. This tiny ancient church is located next to the splendid gardens of Villa San Remigio (previously mentioned in a past post) on Lake Maggiore, one of the famous Northern Italian Lakes. This Romanesque oratory dates from the eleventh to twelfth centuries. Inside, the church is divided into two asymmetric naves, an unusual feature, which is probably the result of the difficulty of building on the rock of the promontory. Other interior details include a groin-vaulted ceiling and semi-capitals decorated with medieval frescoes.

Above is the exterior. The newest portion, a sixteenth century porch with a vaulted ceiling, partly hides the original façade. Please try to ignore the car.
Above is the exterior. The newest portion, a sixteenth century porch with a vaulted ceiling, partly hides the original façade. Please try to ignore the car.

I prefer visiting these tiny ancient places of worship over any of the larger gothic cathedrals that can be found in Europe. Spiritual intimacy is much easier to find in smaller spaces. At least for me it is.

Above, you can see on the pillar an interesting sixteenth century fresco of the "Virgin of the Milk," Mary breast feeding the Christ Child. This image was very common throughout the foothills of the Alps and recalls the cult of “Mother Earth," but, as here, was often censored by painting over the breast.
Above, you can see on the pillar an interesting sixteenth century fresco of the “Virgin of the Milk,” Mary breast feeding the Christ Child. This image was very common throughout the foothills of the Alps and recalls the cult of “Mother Earth,” but, as here, was often censored by painting over the breast.
Above, is the principal nave or apse where there is an intriguing late thirteenth century Cycle of the Months, illustrated through the human activities typical of each season.
Above, is the principal nave or apse where there is an intriguing late thirteenth century Cycle of the Months, illustrated through the human activities typical of each season.
(above) I don't remember where the above piece was located within the church, but it is beautiful.
(above) I don’t remember where the above piece was located within the church, but it is beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *