The visit to the ancient village of Chia begins in the Renaissance part of the town and more precisely from Piazza Garibaldi where the Madonna delle Grazie Church is located on the left, begun in 1617 as attested in the epigraph on the portal architrave.
Info: Parish of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary (in Chia)
Tel. 0761/745119 – 347/5231247 – 334/3056218 E-mail: email@example.com
Mass times: holidays 11.15
CHURCH OF MADONNA DELLE GRAZIE
Probably built on a previous church attributable from the sources to the church of Santa Maria del Fossato (pastoral visits of 1604 and 1611), the current building saw the beginning of the works in 1617, as engraved on the lintel of the entrance portal. Still in the episcopal visit of 1621 the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie was defined as noviter constructa but still without the roof. The works were completed before 1623, the date shown on the scroll of the fresco painted on the right wall. As happened to many other fiefdoms, also that of Chia passed from hand to hand in the medieval period, becoming a possession first of the Apostolic Chamber and subsequently of noble families such as the Orsini and the Colonna and in the modern age such as the Lante della Rovere and the Borghese. Since then the church has remained almost unchanged in its internal form. The last serious interventions undergone by the church are to be postponed to 1939, when the clock tower was added above the roof and a hallway was created just behind the central altar. The Madonna delle Grazie Church, located in the Renaissance part of the town and more precisely in Piazza Garibaldi, opens the tour of the ancient village of Chia.
The façade of the church is simple in the typically Renaissance appearance of a gable shape. In the center, an elegant peperino portal preceded by a small staircase shows L.MAD.DELLE.GRATIE.1617 on the architrave. naming of the church and date of commencement of the works. Above the portal there is a small rectangular window decorated with a simple frame. On the left slope of the roof, a square section turret, built in 1939, houses the town clock, and in its flat roof, 2 bells. The interior has a single nave with a rectangular plan, at one third of the nave, a large round arch separates the nave from the presbytery. As soon as you enter the church, crossing the compass, we find on the right a narrow wooden staircase that gives access to the choir supported by two pillars, located in the counter-façade wall. Built into the right side wall is a holy water stoup – a Roman marble worker – made at the end of the nineteenth century as shown in the carved marble, engraved in the work. A CHIA / POSCETTI DONO / 1895. Immediately afterwards, in the central area of the right wall, in a bad state of conservation, we come across a painting from the Roman area attributable to the second half of the century. XVII, with S. Carlo Borromeo between Saints Rocco and Sant’Antonio. This is what remains of one of the two altars placed frontally in the side walls of the hall. The main square with the three saints is framed within a fake architecture defined by two Doric columns that support an open tympanum. At the top of a cartouche, we find the date of the work made to decorate the altar donated for devotion: BARNABEUS […] NNIS / SUPERINTENDENS […] US TEMPLI / HOC ALTARE PRO SUA DEVOTIONE / F […] AC D […] / AD. MCXXIX. Above the tympanum, a fake archivolta architecture presents the representation of the cross in the center. In the pastoral visit of 1749 the altar on the left wall donated by Bernardo di Giovanni in 1629 is mentioned. gold. At the bottom of the right side wall there is a copy of the fifteenth-century triptych depicting the blessing Savior between the Madonna Annunziata and the Angel of the Annunciation. The triptych, the original of which is kept in the diocesan museum of sacred art in Orte, is considered one of the most important works of the 15th century painting in Viterbo. The central panel depicts the blessing Savior seated on a throne. In the left hand is an open book on which EGO SUM is written. LUX MUNDI – ET VIA VIA () – TRUTH () LIFE – HERE CREDIT – IN ME NÕ – AMBULAT IN – TENEBULAT – TENEBIS. In the left door, the praying Virgin is depicted with a dove in her hand. The Archangel announcing them is depicted on the right door. Externally the doors are also painted and show: the one on the left is San Giovenale (the patron saint of Chia) with the episcopal vestments, cope and book held in his hands; the one on the right, Saint Catherine of Alexandria holding the symbol of her martyrdom in her hands. (the toothed wheel). Below the triptych there is a painted plaster statue of the Deposed Jesus inside a reliquary. After crossing the large round arch, in the right side wall of the presbytery, the oil hangs on the canvas depicting Santa Monica presumably made in the century. XVII. At the center of the presbytery we find the high altar separated from the back wall by a small room created in 1939, a passage that houses two processional crucifixes and in the back wall two painted wooden statues placed symmetrically on the sides of the altar: respectively San Giovenale (statue which is carried in procession on the occasion of the celebrations of the Patron Saint) and Sant’Antonio. Both framed by two pairs of 19th century processional lanterns. The altar dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Grace and the mysteries of the Rosary looks like a small temple characterized by two pilasters supporting an open tympanum on which a small archivolt tympanum rests. The structure is finely decorated with faux marble, stucco, garlands and gilding. At the center of the structure is depicted in a box a fresco attributable to the second half of the seventeenth century with the Madonna and Child Jesus with St. Dominic of the Roman area. The face of an angel is depicted in the archivolt tympanum.
On the left wall of the presbytery hangs an oil on canvas from the Roman area (1899), Painted with San Rocco between Sant’Antonio abate and saint, made by Canfora D. as shown in the lower right of the canvas. In the central area of the left wall of the nave, there is the other fake architecture that decorated the altar dedicated to the SS. Savior. Paintings in niches, made in three different compartments, we find the Virgin and Child Jesus among different saints: on the left the fresco attributable to the second quarter of the seventeenth century in the Roman area with a depicted saint who is not identifiable due to the lack of attributes; in the central compartment a fresco from the Roman area where a Madonna and Child Jesus is painted between St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist, dated 1631. written at the top center of the architrave, a cartouche reads: EVANGELISTA IOSEPHI PRO SUA DEVOTIONE HOC ALTARE FF AC DOTAVIT AD MDCXXIII. Above the tympanum, the Virgin with angels and cherubs framed in a frame. To the right of the main scene, another fake architecture as a niche houses the painting with St. Francis of Assisi, tempera on plaster always attributable to a Roman area of the century. XVII. From the pastoral visit of 1630 we learn that the altar housed the triptych of the Savior which was moved permanently to the church for a more decent location and that the artist who had already carried out the decoation of the main metope, was forced to add the images of the saints to the sides of the image of the Virgin to leave space to accommodate the triptych of the Savior.
GIOCCHINI, DELFO; Collegiata San Nicola di Bari : (Arch. Giulio Camporese), 1791-1991.
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DAVID D., Soriano nel Cimino nella storia e nella leggenda , Soriano nel Cimino (Vt) 1947.
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TARSETTI BARZELLOTTI M. A., Soriano nel Cimino, Bolsena (VT) 1991.
SERRONE G. – GOLETTI A., Il Santarello, la Fornacchia e Santa Lucia, frazioni di Maria. Itinerario religioso storico artistico, tra Soriano e Vitorchiano Orte e Bagnoreggio, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Roma 1999, p. 190,
SERRONE G. – GOLETTI A., San Giovenale e il Castello di Chia, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Roma 1996, p. 196
Soriano nel Cimino, a cura di Carivit S.p.a., autori D’ARCANGELI V., SANTOCCHI A., Viterbo 1993.
Si ringrazia la Diocesi di Civita Castellana (Vt) per le schede di catalogazione fornite.
CASALE LUCA, AULICINO DANIELA. Schede Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie. Inventario dei Beni Mobili Ecclesiastici della Diocesi di Civita Castellana. 04/03/2010