Religious sites in Italy

Garegnano Charterhouse

Garegnano Charterhouse is a former Carthusian monastery located on the outskirts of Milan. It now houses a community of Capuchin Friars. The monastery, dedicated to Saint Ambrose but also known as Our Lady of the Lamb of God, was founded in 1349 by Giovanni Visconti, bishop and lord of Milan. It was then located some 4 kilometers from the walls of Milan. In the 14th century it housed, among others, the poet Petr ...
Founded: 1349 | Location: Milan, Italy

Baptistery of San Giovanni ad Fontes

The Baptistery of San Giovanni ad Fontes is a religious edifice in Lomello. An example of Romanesque-Lombard architecture, it is annexed to the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, another early Middle Ages structure. The baptistery has a typical cross plan, but in the interior the central part forms an octagon, over which is a dome of the same shape. The interior is wholly plastered, and can be accessed from two portals. T ...
Founded: 6th century AD | Location: Lomello, Italy

Santa Maria Maggiore

Santa Maria Maggiore church is an example of First Romanesque art. It includes the oldest cross vaults in Italy. The oldest document mentioning the basilica is a privilege by pope Paschal II, dated 22 August 1107. Archaeological studies showed that at least two churches existed in the site before the current one, the earliest one being perhaps contemporary to the annexed baptistery of San Giovanni ad Fontes (c. 5th-7t ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Lomello, Italy

Nicastro Cathedral

Nicastro Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the town of Nicastro, now part of the city of Lamezia Terme. It was previously the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Nicastro and when the diocese changed its name to the Diocese of Lamezia Terme, remained its cathedral. The first church on the site probably dated from the Byzantine era, and was destroyed during Saracen raids prior to the year 1000. The Normans in 1094 e ...
Founded: 1675 | Location: Lamezia Terme, Italy

Church of Saint Francis Xavier

The Church of Saint Francis Xavier (Chiesa di San Francesco Saverio) is a Baroque church of Palermo. The building is considered the masterpiece of the Jesuit architect Angelo Italia. In 1633 the Jesuits founded their fourth house in Palermo. It was destinated to the Third Probation and dedicated to Saint Francis Xavier. This new foundation was patronised by Giovanna Aragona Ventimiglia, Marchioness of Giarratana. In 1634 ...
Founded: 1633 | Location: Palermo, Italy

Oria Cathedral

Oria Cathedral (Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta) is the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Oria. In 1750 the then bishop of Oria demolished the 13th-century Romanesque cathedral that stood previously on the site, which had been left unsafe by the earthquake of February 20, 1743. Two columns from the old church were purchased for 8000 ducats for use in the Capella Reggia of Caserta. The new church was reconsecrated in 17 ...
Founded: 1756 | Location: Oria, Italy

Bisceglie Co-Cathedral

Bisceglie Cathedral (Concattedrale di San Pietro Apostolo) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Bisceglie. Peter II of Trani began to build the cathedral in 1073, which he dedicated to his namesake, Saint Peter. Building was completed in 1295. Formerly the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Bisceglie, it has been since 1986 a co-cathedral in the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie.
Founded: 1073-1295 | Location: Bisceglie, Italy

St. Paul's Church

St. Pauls" Conversion Church (San Paolo) is called as 'Dome in the Countryside' as the parish church seems to have been constructed for a huge city. It is consecrated to Conversion of Paul the Apostle and located in the heart of the village. The huge bells in the 86 m high church steeple calls up for the Holy Mass with its deep tones. In former times S. Paulo has been main village in the municipality of Ap ...
Founded: 1484 | Location: Eppan, Italy

Santa Sofia Church

anta Sofia in Padua is the oldest church structure in the city. It was built in the 10th century on the site of a presumed Roman Mithraeum. The first document dates from 1123. The apse was the first phase of the construction, sometime in the ninth century. Primary construction was between 1070 and 1080. This phase ended in 1106. The second phase opened in 1117 and ended in about 1170. The structure underwent embellishmen ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Padua, Italy

Santa Maria la Nova Church

Santa Maria La Nova is a Baroque-style church in Scicli. A church at the site, dedicated to Santa Maria della Pietà, was present by the 6th-7th centuries. This church was destroyed during the Norman conquest. Reconstruction under the sponsorship of the Confraternity of the same name was funded by Pietro Di Lorenzo Busacca that, doing the will in 1567. The rebuilt church was then destroyed by the 1693 earthquake. Like m ...
Founded: 1801 | Location: Scicli, Italy

Basilica di Nostra Signora Assunta

Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption (Basilica di Nostra Signora Assunta) was constructed during 1610–1624. The Baroque-style facade was added in 1932, design of the architect Piero de Barbieri; the sculptor Luigi Venzano contributed the facade statues of St. John the Baptist and St. Joseph, while the central relief depicts the Madonna. The interior was decorated across the centuries and includes works by Giulio ...
Founded: 1610-1624 | Location: Genoa, Italy

Foggia Cathedral

Foggia Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Foggia-Bovino. The present Romanesque building was constructed as a collegiate church in the 1170s, but was damaged in the earthquake of 1731 and restored in a Baroque style. When the Diocese of Foggia was created in 1855, the collegiate church was declared its cathedral. The diocese was elevated to an archdiocese in 1979 and amalgamated with the Diocese of Bo ...
Founded: 1170s | Location: Foggia, Italy

San Giuseppe Church

San Giuseppe church and adjacent monastery were initially built in 1390, but underwent a reconstruction during the 17th-century. The facade now has a Baroque portal. The Nave houses a number of paintings including depictions of Santa Scolastica, St Benedict, and a Madonna of the Rosary. It houses a statue of the Madonna del Carmelo and a 15th-century crucifix. The nave has a Deposition by Antonio Mercurio, and a 1 ...
Founded: 1390 | Location: Enna, Italy

San Pietro al Monte Abbey

Abbey of San Pietro al Monte is an ancient monastic complex of Romanesque style in the town of Civate. The site, presently not occupied by religious, consists of three buildings: the Basilica of San Pietro, the oratory dedicated to St. Benedict, and what was the monastery of which only ruin remain. According a legend the abbey was founded in 772 AD by Desiderius, the last king of Lombardy. The oldest document dates from ...
Founded: 772 AD | Location: Civate, Italy

Chiesa degli Ottimati

The Chiesa degli Ottimati history is documented as early as the 10th century. The present name derives from a Norman confraternity that rebuilt the church, and dedicated it to the Virgin of the Annunciation. The Ottimati were a congregation of nobles founded by the Normans. Over time, these included the Filocamo, Griso, Altavilla and Borboni. The original layout appears to have been a Greek cross, with multiple domes. Th ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Reggio Calabria, Italy

St. Romedio Sanctuary

The Saint Romedio sanctuary is the most interesting example of medieval Christian art in the Trentino region. The famous pilgrimage place is built on a 70-metre high calcareous rock.This architectonic building is surrounded by a wonderful natural landscape and it is composed of several churches and chapels directly on the rock. The whole structure is connected by a steep stairway with 131 steps. The oldest chapel of the b ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: San Zeno, Italy

Basilica of Sant'Abbondio

The current edifice of Basilica of Sant"Abbondio rises over a pre-existing 5th century Palaeo-Christian church entitled to Sts. Peter and Paul, built by order of St. Amantius of Como, third bishop of the city. Erected c. 1 km outside the city"s walls, it was intended to house several relics of the two saints which Amantius had brought from Rome. The basilica acted as bishop"s seat until 1007. Six years la ...
Founded: 1050-1095 | Location: Como, Italy

Sanctuary of Mount Lussari

The easternmost peaks of the Alps have been the natural border between the Latin, German and Slav worlds since time immemorial. Today, in a time of peace, they still speak the languages of these peoples and their valleys are places of friendship and cooperation. Attracting pilgrims from three lands, the shrine of Monte Lussari, in the northeastern corner of Italy, is truly European and a symbol of this peaceful coexisten ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Borgo Lussari, Italy

Gravina Co-Cathedral

Since 1986 Gravina Cathedral has served as a co-cathedral of the Diocese of Altamura-Gravina-Acquaviva delle Fonti. It was built here at the end of the 11th century by Humphrey of Hauteville, Count of Apulia and Calabria, and thus lord of the town. This church was destroyed in the years 1447-1456 by a fire followed by an earthquake, after being refurbished in a Renaissance-Romanesque style. Of the original church only ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Gravina in Puglia, Italy

San Vincenzo in Prato

San Vincenzo in Prato is the only church in Milan which has entirely maintained its original Palaeo-Christian appearance. The first church was founded by the Lombard king Desiderius in 770, who dedicated it to the Virgin Mary. Later it was entitled to St. Vincent, when the latter"s relics were found in an urn in the crypt, together with those of St. Quirinus and St. Nicomedes (859) and St. Abundius. The ...
Founded: 770 AD | Location: Milan, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

La Iruela Castle

The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.

The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.

There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.

In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.

After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.

History

The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.

Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.

Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.

Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.