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Churches

 

The territory of Murlo was dotted with churches of various sizes  and country-churches that showed the storical importance of this area; some of them are still visible. Others, due to the time and to the indifference of the man, are completely ruined or have few remain are still standing. A complete list follows for those who are interested in the most important traces left by history over the last 1000 years.

Murlo

St Fortunato Cathedral

The San Fortunato cathedral, of which we have records since the 12th century, has passed through several transformations during the centuries.
The original arch of the entry remains on the facade that was probably in the form of a spire with a nave and two aisles; the small round window and the other parts are modifications.

During the restoration at the end of the 16th century, after the damage caused by the war of Siena, the aspe was enlarged, transformed into a single nave and probably raised.
The two altars in the transept have been built during the 17th century, in stucco, imitating polycromatic marbles, with the paintings of Astolfo Petrazzi (The Saints Biagio, Domenico, Caterina da Siena and Sebastiano adoring the Infant Christ) and of Dionisio Monterselli (Our Lady of Assumption and a saint Bishop).
Also the font dates to the end of the 17th century: the font has revealed a 15th century one within its structure, engraved with festoons, a band foliage decorated and the monogram Of Saint Bernard.

Also remarquable two holy-water fonts, one dating from the 16th century and the other from the 14th.  

St Nicholas Chapel
records since the 17th century
transformed in agriculture tools warehouse.

Area of Vescovado


Chapel Of Mary nativity, called Our Lady of Andica in 1572
later desecrated, it became a private house

St Fortunato Church

Built at the beginning of seventies in substitution of a previous building, it was consacreted  in 1972. Inside there is the triptych of Benvenuto di Giovanni with Our Lady with the Infant Christ and Saints (1475); the set is remarquable for its formal elegance and the freshness of the tales  painted on the predella. Among the old fittings equipment for the procession, made in painted and gilt wood has been kept; it was made to trasport, during the processions, a painting with the Madonna and the Infant Crist of Andrea di Niccolò. This painting was part of a larger one,with other two lateral paintings, sold abroad at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Chapel of Our Lady in Assumption
La Befa 1598

The small chapel is on the edge of the village and it was the seat of the "Compagnia dei Celesti" during the Eighteenth century, that took care of its conservation. The date of construction is unknown, but the presence of a triptych of Siennese school of Sixteenth century says that the chapel was existing at that period. The triptych, purchased by the Italian State in 1972, is now in the Pinacoteca of Siena

St John Decollate, 1151

This church, belonging to a  private ownership in Campriano, maintains its original structure. Inside, on the left althar there are mural paintings of Sexteenth century of Ventura Salimbeni. A beautiful Madonna with the Infant Christ of Pietro Lorenzetti has been moved to the Museo di Arte Sacra in Buonconvento.

Pieve a Carli

This church, documented since 1081 and restored in 1767, is in Pieve a Carli. Called "old church" to distinguish it from the St Fortunato one, it was very popular for long time for the painting of the Madonna with the Infant Christ by Andrea di Niccolò, now in the church of Vescovado. The front is an atrium with three archs of bricks; inside three altars of white stucco, with sculptures of the Arrighetti.

St Michael Archangel
This country church is documented since 1214

In 1475 it was embellished with the triptych with St Michael and other Saints of Benvenuto di Giovanni, that was moved to the parish of Vescovado and substituted by a copy. It was completely restored at the beginning of twentieth century in neogothic forms, with three altars in "serena" stone and with a luxurious tabernacle on the high altar.

During the reecent years it has became a centre of the "Comunità Mondo Nuovo", which has gone on recuperating the old structures both of the church and the premises all around. The church is embellished with a new altar engraved by Chiara Tambani.

 

Casciano di Murlo

St Giusto and St Clemente
documented since 1275, it is in Casciano di Murlo

The presence of a female convent consecrated to St Giusto gave to Casciano the denomination of " Casciano of the women". Closed in 1463, its church was granted the title of Murlo parish church. The present building, belonging to the late Romanesque period, has a Latin cross plant, with only one nave and a projecting transept. The construction look without any decoration a part from the window on the facade.

St Mary of Rocamadour

documented since 1189
Montespecchio Hermitage

It was built in wild country, difficult to reach, with black serpentine stone of Vallerano and pink marble of the Orsa. Renowned artist of the time created works of art for this hermitage. The most wellknown is the small "Maestà di Crevole" of Duccio di Boninsegna at present in the Museum of the Cathedral in Siena; the painting takes the name from Crevole, where it was moved to the St Cecilia church, when the hermitage was abandoned. Its present ruins stand in a suggestive and uncontaminated environment.

St Peter and St Paul
documented since 1055

At present under restoration, the church is in Montepescini. The origin is probably in the 11th century, but only proved documentations exist from the following century. Renewed in the Eighteenth century, it shows the romanesque origin in the facade, with the saddle roof and with big stones spaced with bricks. It was damaged by the Pisa army in 1332, damged again by the Florentines by the end of the century and also by the imperial army in 1554. Restaured everytime, it maintains the original structure. The baroch altars with volutes and ovals made in white stucco still have an ancome with two saints of the 17th century.

 
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