Church of San Giovanni Battista – Mergozzo

Montorfano is a little town, in the municipality of Mergozzo, that can be reached on foot along a very old and picturesque scenic road that in several places overlooks the little Lake Mergozzo; alternatively you can go by car in just a few minutes along the carriage road leading from Verbania railway station.
Half-hidden and protected by a green basin, amongst small stone buildings, is the architectural complex of the Church of San Giovanni Battista, one of the most interesting and best-preserved Romanesque churches in the whole of Ossola Valley.
This church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, has a Latin cross plan and an octagonal crossing tower decorated by three mullioned windows and one single-light window. The building is roofed with granite tiles, while the material used for the whole construction is Serizzo stone and granite, quarried locally in the Ossola Valley.
On the exterior, the gabled façade has a trabeated portal over which is a single-light window.
Inside the church, the ceiling is cross-vaulted, with its ribs resting on half capitals, but what most impresses more attentive visitors are certainly the fragments of frescoes in the apse and the Baroque altar-piece by the Florentine painter, Luigi Reali.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS

This site is all the more interesting due to the possibility of seeing the archaeological remains that have come to light inside and near the church during excavations begun by the Mergozzo Archaeological Group in 1970 and completed by the Piedmont Archaeological Department in 1984.
The excavations revealed two ancient building phases, related to an early Christian complex dating from the end of the 5th – beginning of the 6th century AD, and to a triple-apsed basilica from the Carolingian period (8th century AD).
The material uncovered during the excavations and still visible includes the octagonal baptismal font of the early Christian baptistery left uncovered inside the Romanesque church and the foundation walls of the Carolingian basilica, near the south side of the church.
The remains of the walls of the apse of the baptistery, with rare and valuable fragments of frescoes and geometric motifs dating from the 6th century AD, are preserved under the wooden dais below the altar.

Info: www.ecomuseogranitomontorfano.it

Ideal for
Everybody
You will discover
Culture, traditions and folklore
Devotion
Rainy day?
History and art
Hidden treasures
Ideal for
Everybody
You will discover
Culture, traditions and folklore
Devotion
Rainy day?
History and art
Hidden treasures
IAT di Mergozzo
Corso Roma, 20
28802 Mergozzo (VB)
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