The Pieve of Saint Syrus was one of the pievi, or isolated churches with baptistries, among which the territory of Val Camonica was divided. The complex, which stands on a ridge overlooking the river Oglio, can be reached via a staircase built in the 1930s.
The foundation of the church in its present form probably dates to the end of the 11th century, although a fragment of a Roman inscription on a lancet window suggests that a Roman building was previously located on the site, and later converted into a house of Christian worship between the eighth and ninth centuries. In the crypt elements are present in pre-Romanesque capitals and columns. The bell-tower appears to be an addition of the fifteenth century. Following the visit to Val Camonica of St. Charles Borromeo in 1580 some parts of the church were rebuilt, including the ceiling of the nave.
Major works of restoration began in 1912 under the auspices of the state. Fragments of stone which had fallen from the portal were returned to place, the whole north wall of the choir was rebuilt and both the cross-vaulting of the aisles and the coffering of the nave were done away with. The walls of the crypt and its access stair were also rebuilt. In a later restoration the pavements of the nave and crypt were raised and remade using slabs of local stone. In the early 1990s structural works were undertaken to secure the building and its campanile.
The structure has an east–west orientation, with three apses, and a very elaborate entrance on the south side, carved with symbols and fantastic flowers. Inside, the sanctuary is elevated from the central nave and the two side aisles. Even in the crypt the subdivision in three apses is maintained.
On the back wall to the west there are a number of steps that had to serve, according to tradition, catechumens. From these leads to a door that went into the sacristy and the bell tower.
From this church comes the altarpiece of the Master Paroto stored at New York City, signed and dated 1447 (or 1444).
The large baptismal font inside the church is probably formed from the basin of a Roman or early medieval wine press.References:
The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia between 1713 and 1715. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way. The column is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
The column is dominated by gilded copper sculptures of the Holy Trinity accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel on the top and the Assumption of the Virgin beneath it.
The base of the column, in three levels, is surrounded by 18 more stone sculptures of saints and 14 reliefs in elaborate cartouches. At the uppermost stage are saints connected with Jesus’ earth life – his mother’s parents St. Anne and St. Joachim, his foster-father St. Joseph, and St. John the Baptist, who was preparing his coming – who are accompanied by St. Lawrence and St. Jerome, saints to whom the chapel in the Olomouc town hall was dedicated. Three reliefs represent the Three theological virtues Faith, Hope, and Love.
Below them, the second stage is dedicated to Moravian saints St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who came to Great Moravia to spread Christianity in 863, St. Blaise, in whose name one of the main Olomouc churches is consecrated, and patrons of neighbouring Bohemia St. Adalbert of Prague and St. John of Nepomuk, whose following was very strong there as well.
In the lowest stage one can see the figures of an Austrian patron St. Maurice and a Bohemian patron St. Wenceslas, in whose names two important Olomouc churches were consecrated, another Austrian patron St. Florian, who was also viewed as a protector against various disasters, especially fire, St. John of Capistrano, who used to preach in Olomouc, St. Anthony of Padua, a member of the Franciscan Order, which owned an important monastery in Olomouc, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a patron of students. His sculpture showed that Olomouc was very proud of its university. Reliefs of all twelve apostles are placed among these sculptures.
The column also houses a small chapel inside with reliefs depicting Cain's offering from his crop, Abel's offering of firstlings of his flock, Noah's first burnt offering after the Flood, Abraham's offering of Isaac and of a lamb, and Jesus' death. The cities of Jerusalem and Olomouc can be seen in the background of the last mentioned relief.