The Church of St. John was originally built on the site of the Headquarters of the Order of St. John around 1200.
In around 1400, the church was completely remodeled in the late gothic style, giving it its current appearance. The west choir loft was added between 1600 and 1628 and the upper floor was extended to form the town’s largest grain store. The Steinmeyer organ dates from 1885 and was restored in 2004.
Another interesting point is that the church underwent several confessional changes over the years. It became Protestant in 1553 as a result of Luther’s reforms. In the Thirty Years’ War the church provided a burial ground for Catholic officers. In 1803, as part of the secularization of Bavaria, it was transferred to the Catholic community as a pastoral center.References:
Manarola is a small town, a frazione of the comune of Riomaggiore. It is the second-smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists, with a population of 353.
Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338. The local dialect is Manarolese, which is marginally different from the dialects in the nearby area. The name 'Manarola' is probably a dialectical evolution of the Latin, 'magna rota'. In the Manarolese dialect this was changed to 'magna roea' which means 'large wheel', in reference to the mill wheel in the town.
Manarola's primary industries have traditionally been fishing and wine-making. The local wine, called Sciacchetrà, is especially renowned; references from Roman writings mention the high quality of the wine produced in the region.