San Lorenzo Church

Aosta, Italy

Under the Aosta old parish church, archaeological diggings brought to light the early Christian cruciform basilica, indicated as Concilium Sanctorum, the Assembly of Saints because it was built on the tombs of some of the early martyrs who were buried in the Roman cemetery area which in itself was built on a protohistoric funeral settlement. 

Inside you can see parts of the liturgical structures, the relic platform with the tombs of three bishops who lived between the 5th and 6th centuries (Grato, Agnello, Gallo) and other tomb chambers dating from between the 5th and 8th centuries.

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Founded: 5th century AD
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Roman Blagsic (5 years ago)
Nice historical monument.
Cheryl Kaufman (5 years ago)
12th center medieval cloister with around 40 narrative sculptures including the life of St Orso/Ours the 6th c patron saint in Aosta. And the life of Jacob and Esau...with their camels?
Mario Falzon (6 years ago)
By reason of several works of hasty restoration and unmindful modification undergone over the centuries, Aosta’s Cathedral may not be a complete authentic structure of preserved Romanesque architecture but... what the cathedral misses out in architectural sublimity, the Church of St Peter and St Orso has it in bucketfuls. The church complex, reachable on foot by way of Via Sant’Orso consists of a Romanesque 11th-century brick structure (yes, the original brickwork, worn off and blackened with age is still there) that comprises the church proper, an adjoining Augustinian cloister, a squat bell tower, an excavated crypt or underground cemetery and the small stand-alone Chapel of San Lorenzo. This collection of architectural antiques in brick is regrettably condensed on a tiny square, oblique in places and with sticking-out corners in others. So, the outside view of the complex as a whole is somewhat restricted from the overlooking square. But you can still get a wonderful and complete back view if you walk a couple of minutes further east to the Arch of Augustus and then follow the Buthier stream north along Viale Federico Chabod. The view of the complex from here is the finest one may get, although it is not close enough to allow for the checking out of the architectural details. The church is a bit austere inside. But the 15th-century additions harmonized perfectly with the existing Romanesque structure and rendered the church less plain and more good-looking. The cross-vaulted ceiling is definitely a masterpiece of design. The Gothic collection of choir stalls in dark oak, carved with allegorical figures of animals and statuettes of saints is unquestionably a work of art in its own right. The highlight of the church is however the set of original frescoes that date back to the Ottonian era. Preserved in the attic but nonetheless faded and worn out in places, they can be visited on a guided tour only. The cloister on the right side of the church is the most elaborate piece of architecture in the complex. Walk along the arched passageway that borders the middle courtyard as patiently as time permits and study the biblical scenes on the capitals of the marble columns. Each scene differs from the next but together they compose the life story of Christ as depicted in the New Testament. Authentic, detailed and skillfully sculpted in marble, these are perhaps the best asset in the complex.
Yami Yume (6 years ago)
Carlo M. Bajetta (6 years ago)
Do not miss the cloister (small entrance to the right, facing the church)
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