Baptistery of San Giovanni ad Fontes

Lomello, Italy

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. The baptistery has, on the east-west axis, an overall length of 16 m.

The main element is the baptismal font, dating to the 7th-8th centuries.

The baptistery has an elevation of 13 m and is entirely built of brickworks, parts of which date to the 5th-6th centuries. The dome is a later addition (c. 10th century), and was built using less precious materials.



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Founded: 6th century AD
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Luca Oria (8 months ago)
A real gem dating back to the 6th-6th century, perfectly preserved. Definitely worth a visit together with the church of Santa Maria Maggiore sin that is only open from April to November on Saturdays and Sundays, so it was not possible to see the inside.
Turista non per caso (10 months ago)
The Baptistery of San Giovanni is of Lombard origin and is located next to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The building is 13 meters high and is built entirely of brick.
Luca Tirnusciolo (2 years ago)
The baptistery of San Giovanni ad Fontes in Lomello is a sacred monument of Lombard origin placed next to the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, another important place in the historic town of Lomellina. The baptistery is a 13 meter high building and is built entirely with bricks; the dome is a later construction than the rest of the building, turned around the tenth century with less valuable materials. The dome is surmounted by a small multi-storey lantern, which forms the final part of the entire building. A characteristic feature of the Lombard architecture of that period is the eccentric verticalism of the central octagon, which is thus detached from the homologous paleochristian constructions, more compact.The complex presents as a whole the shape of a simple typical cross, of the religious tendencies of the first centuries AD, inside, however, the central part consists of an octagon above which stands the dome, also octagonal in shape, the latter, together with the apses and internal chapels of the baptistery, takes on the characteristic crusader shape that well you notice on the outside. The building is now completely plastered; it can be accessed through two doors, with the main door located to the west. An element of great importance is the hexagonal baptismal font (immersion baptism), dating back to between the VII-VIII century.
Nico Lombardo (3 years ago)
A magical place, as well as sacred, to the spirit, at least of those who let themselves be easily carried away by the fascinating temporal waves of human history.
Stefano Masnaghetti (3 years ago)
A monument of immense artistic, historical and spiritual value, the Baptistery of San Giovanni ad Fontes is one of the oldest in Italy: the octagonal lower polylobate construction, in fact, can be dated between the V and VIII centuries, while the dome should date back to X Century approx. As for the baptismal font, it is probable that it was built around the VII and VIII centuries. Inside the building it is possible to admire fragments of early Christian frescoes. Its cross shape, with an entrance facing west and a major apse to the east, is magnificently animated by the presence of six other apsidal lateral niches of alternately semicircular and rectangular shape. Needless to say more. It is one of the very few examples of Longobard architecture that has reached us, and among the best preserved. To visit absolutely.
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