Religious sites in Italy

Basilica of Santa Maria a Pugliano

The Basilica of Santa Maria a Pugliano is the main church in Ercolano and the oldest church in the area around Mount Vesuvius. The church contains two pagan marble sarcophagi from the 2nd and 4th centuries AD, later adapted into Christian altars, probably in the 11th century. There are records of an oratory dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the 11th century on a hill called Pugliano. During the following centuries the ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Ercolano, Italy

Tempietto di San Fedelino

The Tempietto di San Fedelino is a 10th to 11th-century small, Roman Catholic sanctuary or church, located in a remote rural site at the south shore of the River Mera. The small church is made of local stone and has a rounded apse. It still retains some 11th-century frescoes. The frescoes resemble those from the apse of the church of San Vincenzo in Galliano (circa 1004–1007).
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Novate Mezzola, Italy

Cerreto Abbey

The Abbazia del Cerreto is a former Cistercian monastery in the town of Abbadia Cerreto. The town is named after the abbey. The building now functions as a parish church. The original monastery, with surrounding territory, was founded by the Benedictine order, but in 1139, the monks at the institution identifed themselves as Cistercians. By 1500, the monastery had been reduced to a few members, and the abbey church was c ...
Founded: 1139 | Location: Abbadia Cerreto, Italy

San Filippo di Fragalà Monastery

The Monastery of San Filippo Fragala, located in the small town of Frazzanò, is one of the oldest basilian monasteries in Sicily. Approximately 2km from the town centre, the monastery was built from the Count Ruggero and his wife Adelasia in 1090 and was an important centre for religious studies on saints. In 1866 the rich library of the monastery was transferred into the town to create an easier access to the books but ...
Founded: 1090 | Location: Frazzanò, Italy

Santa Maria Church

The Romanesque Santa Maria (St. Mary"s) church, which is located at the foot of the medieval castle, was the seat of the parish until the end of the 18th century. The bell tower is a typical square shaped tower. During the digs carried out in the building, the remains of the ancient early-Christian church and the relative baptismal font were found. The semi-circular shaped crypt, near the choir, dates back to the 11t ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Villeneuve, Italy

Accola Abbey

Accola Abbey was mentioned first time in 881 AD in a letter of Charlemagne. The altar dates from 1482 and frescoes from the 18th century.
Founded: 881 AD | Location: Borghetto di Vara, Italy

Capuchin Church

Construction of the Chiesa dei Cappuccini or Church of the Capuchin Monks began in the 12th century and was only completed by the early 14th century. The façade with a local stone base, and brick superior zone has a portal with multiple columns and a fresco in the lunette from the 17th century. In 1623 the Cappuccini (a Franciscan order) were assigned to this church. They erected an adjacent convent, and remained here un ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Varzi, Italy

St. Victor Church

The parish of San Vittore (St. Victor) is mentioned for the first time in the papal bull dated 5th April 1145 with which pope Eugene III took the canons of Saint-Gilles di Verrès under his protection. The parish church of San Vittore is rectangular in shape and has a single nave. The current church dates back to the end of the 15th century or the beginning of the 16th century and was consecrated in 1521. Its construction ...
Founded: 1521 | Location: Challand-Saint-Victor, Italy

San Paolo d'Argon Monastery

The Monastery of San Paolo d"Argon was a Benedictine monastery decorated by premier painters of the late-Baroque era. The monastery was initially founded in the 11th century. It was reconstructed in the 16th century to take on the present layout with two cloisters. The design is attributed to Pietro Isabello. The frescoes (1624) in the refectory were painted by Giovanni Battista Lorenzetti. Starting in 1684, th ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: San Paolo d'Argon, Italy

Oratorio di Mocchirolo

The Oratory of Saint Stephen (Oratorio di Mocchirolo) a Roman Catholic chapel in Mocchirolo. The Romanesque style building was completed in 1377. The interior walls of the church once contained frescos that were removed and transferred to be housed the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan. The frescos currently appear in apse are the reproduction of the original.
Founded: 1377 | Location: Lentate sul Seveso, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Czocha Castle

Czocha Castle is located on the Lake Leśnia, what is now the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. Czocha castle was built on gneiss rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were later added.

Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered by Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, in the middle of the 13th century (1241–1247). In 1253 castle was handed over to Konrad von Wallhausen, Bishop of Meissen. In 1319 the complex became part of the dukedom of Henry I of Jawor, and after his death, it was taken over by another Silesian prince, Bolko II the Small, and his wife Agnieszka. Origin of the stone castle dates back to 1329.

In the mid-14th century, Czocha Castle was annexed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Then, between 1389 and 1453, it belonged to the noble families of von Dohn and von Kluks. Reinforced, the complex was besieged by the Hussites in the early 15th century, who captured it in 1427, and remained in the castle for unknown time (see Hussite Wars). In 1453, the castle was purchased by the family of von Nostitz, who owned it for 250 years, making several changes through remodelling projects in 1525 and 1611. Czocha's walls were strengthened and reinforced, which thwarted a Swedish siege of the complex during the Thirty Years War. In 1703, the castle was purchased by Jan Hartwig von Uechtritz, influential courtier of Augustus II the Strong. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.

In 1909, Czocha was bought by a cigar manufacturer from Dresden, Ernst Gutschow, who ordered major remodelling, carried out by Berlin architect Bodo Ebhardt, based on a 1703 painting of the castle. Gutschow, who was close to the Russian Imperial Court and hosted several White emigres in Czocha, lived in the castle until March 1945. Upon leaving, he packed up the most valuable possessions and moved them out.

After World War II, the castle was ransacked several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece. In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference centre. The complex was featured in several movies and television series. Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game (LARP) that takes place in their own universe and can be compared to Harry Potter.