Countries province
Living History
Lucca city
Province of Lucca
Castiglione Garfagnana
Romanesque Parishes
S.Maria Assunta
Diecimo (Borgo a Mozzano)
Brancoli (Lucca)
Valdottavo (Borgo a Mozzano)
Vico Pancellorum (Bagni di Lucca)
In the province of Lucca, a lot of Romanesque Parishes exist, more famous, but each of them has contributed through the art and the faith to the cultural and social growth of the territory.
For centuries, together with the castles they have represented a point of reference for the populations, that in their greatness and wealth, they identified the power and the importance of his own suburb.
The origin of the Parishes is very ancient, in the most greater part it has Roman origins, the same name "parish" it derives from the Latin "plebes."
For the Romans, her "plebe" it was formed from the inhabitants of the countries, devoted to the earth's workmanship around the fortitudes, you turn to the control of the territory, at the end of the imperial epoch, "plebes" it became synonymous of "imbelle" (incapable of actions series and dignified), subsequently with the expansion of the Christianity, the community of the baptized ones was pointed out with "parish" ("plebes" it transformed him in "parish" maintaining him disdainful meaning),  
with the arrival of the Barbarians, the social and administrative structures of the empire collapsed, these centers of command, were replaced with chosen people in the various centers, among the new ecclesiastical hierarchies, these first territories not managed by the empire assumed the name of "parishes."
To the arrival of the Longobardis "parishes" taken back the old meaning, the populations were forced to pour taxes and offerings, to the Longobardis (as they did the "plebeian" with the Romans). around the X century, with the union of the two populations, the word "parish" it began to point out the church with the baptismal source, to which they were subject other smaller churches, you build in the near territories
S.Maria Assunta
Diecimo (Borgo a Mozzano)
Romanesque parish of S.Maria Assunta - Diecimo (Borgo a Mozzano)The Parish of Saint Maria Assunta, in ancient times also devoted to St. Gervasio, appeared for the first time in a 919 document, but its origins are a lot older, the  church is one of the 28 founded by St. Frediano (the greatest and famous Bishop of Lucca, who lived in the VI century).
In the XII century, the Countess Matilde of Canossa, widened the church turning it into a church with three aisles, making the arcs lean on white and black striped columns of marble, (typical architecture of the churches Matildiane). The Parish church of Saint Maria Assunta, is one of the few churches that have maintained in the centuries, the original medieval outlay, the façade is embellished by a architrave,, a vine-shoot with human figures, attributable to Biduino XII century.
Its interior has been enriched with different works of art, among which, a statue representing the prophet Isaia, with engraved the motto “Egredietur Virga De Root Iesse”, a slab in stone, where a rider on horseback is engraved, commonly called “The King Pipino”, armed with shield and lance, with the head that leans on the saddle (the stone probably, broke at the height of the trunk and the head was redone as best as possible in the little available space).
Two lions (n1-n2) in stone, belonging perhaps to a pulpit, then demolished during the centuries is now a tabernacle of holy oils attributable to  the shop of the Civitali
Photos Parish  Source baptismal  Newspaper kiosk church  Bell tower  Roman sarcophagus  Apse  It walls up external


Brancoli (Lucca)
Parish of S.Giorgio of Brancoli
The Parish of S.Giorgio of one Brancoli some most beautiful Romanesque Parishes of Lucca, she was probably founded to the beginning of the VIII century, (a local legend would like her among the 28 churches founded by the Bishop Frediano), the first news of this ancient church, that has today still well preserved its medieval aspect, finds her inside a 767 document, in which a certain "Fridulo from Brancalo" he sold a piece of vineyard, for two gold money to its Rector "Deusdede", before Thousand the Parish was a simple church (entitled Giovanni and George to the Saints) and as the others of the Brancoleria it belonged to the Parish of S.Maria of Order, then around the X century together to other churches neighbors, passed under the control of the Bishop of Lucca and since then saw to increase of year in year its popularity, thin to be elevated to Parish, in a document of October 8 th 1093 it appears already quoted as Parish of the Saints Giovanni Battista and S.Giorgio of you Grope. 
The actual factory, is the result of an important riedificazione happened around the XI century, wanted by the Bishop Anselmo by Baggio (then Pope Alessandro II) and according to a local legend from the Countess Matilde (what in many today they see her represented in the face of the young one figure graven on the frontal side of the box of the pulpit), built to three aisles in stones of marble coming from the neighboring mountains, the Parish of S.Giorgio was embellished since the beginning with precious decorations, from the capitals (n°1 - n°2) of the columns that support the arcades to all, the inside of the church is a mine of works of arts, the most ancient a decorated font with three graven heads around its three sides, one of which it is equal to another carved head, that is (one of the few fragments remained of the first factory), belonging to the first church and signed by his sculptor "RAITUS Me FECIT", unfortunately he was stolen in past. 
The ambone (the pulpit) of the XII century, perhaps it is the most spectacular work of present art in the Parish, his box supported by four columns, two of which they lean on two lions (one struggle with a dragon, while  the other  you is stabbed by a soldier), verifiable characteristic in other amboni (as in the Cathedral of Barga.....), on the frontal side besides the figure of an angel without wings, that it tightens among the hands a book of prayers (the Gospel?), are they situated two lecterns supported by an eagle and by two figures (a great and a small) huddled up one above the other, among the masterpieces set inside the church they are to also signal the Baptismal Source, one tub octagonal all decorated, the fresco of the Annunciation (XIV century) and a splendid terracotta glazed representative S.Giorgio realized by Luca of the Robbia (elegant XV century). 
To the outside of the Parish it is visible a strange figure carved in the lintel, according to a popular tradition it would represent the figure of “Brancolo”, while some experienced ones of medieval art in this strange figure, have identified a rough reproduction of the Demon, of side to the door of entry the bell tower rises, typical medieval tower to four floors of style lombardo, that has suffered different restructurings maintaining in the inferior part the plinth of the primitive church during the centuries
Photos Parish       Pulpit        Baptismal source        Bell tower        Newspaper kiosk        Side external church  n°1 - n°2 - n°3   


Romanesque parish of S.Jacopo - GallicanoThe Parish church of S.Jacopo, was built within the boundary walls of the castle, around the XII century, to replace the old Parish church, antecedent to the X century of the saints Cassiano and Giovanni Battista, situated at around half mile out of the defenses of the suburb (position that exposed the pilgrims to the risks of assaults of the brigands) and that in 1359, was definitely abandoned and subsequently demolished. One of the first documents, that proves the existence of the church of S.Jacopo, concerns the presbyter Leopard, which in 1285, together with two other  presbyteries, they appealed to the bishop acting as attorneys of the clergy and of the churches of  Garfagnana, for a tax imposed from the Republic of Lucca. During the war between Lucca and the heirs of Castruccio, that involved the castle of Gallicano, the church was violated and once the rebels had been driven out had to be re-consecrated and finally, in 1390 the bishop of Lucca, Giovanni III, promoted it to Parish church. The Parish church, built in the Romanesque style, with one, single aisle, guards on the inside some important sacred furnishings, among which, a XIVth century wooden crucifix of the lucchese school, a wooden statue “The Madonna with Child” XIV century and an alter-piece in glazed terracotta, Robbiana school of the beginning of the XVI century, representing two angels crowning the Madonna with Child, among the saints Joseph, Benedict and Caterina from Alexandria. The bell tower, has been raised above a tower, on one side, under the clock, there is still the existence of two vents, that were used as a catapult shoot for defence, and on the opposite part, we find a relief in terracotta, set in memory of S.Leonardo from Porto Naurizio
Photos Parish  Central altar    Baptismal source


Valdottavo (Borgo a mozzano)
Romanesque parish of S.Pietro - Valdottavo (Borgo a Mozzano)The Parish church of S.Pietro (a structure with three aisles) was built following the collapse of a much more ancient church, which already existed in the castle of “Ottavio” in 725, dedicated to S.Salvatore. Analyzing the documents in our possession (we find it mentioned for the first time in a 1260 file). We cannot establish with precision the exact year that it was built, but doing an analysis of the structure, we can go back to the XII century. February 4th 1443, the Parish received from the bishop of Lucca, Nicolao Giunigi, the Baptismal Font, so escaping from the jurisdiction of the Parish of Decimo. In the church today, we can admire two Baptismal fonts, one for “Immersion” and one "Walled" probably coming from the old church of S.Salvatore. Following an earthquake of 1740, there were performed some reparations to the arches of the spans of the Presbytery, and some years later a side altar was realized in plaster. In the ‘700’s the Parish was widened adding the Choir, and between 1839 and 1850 the bell tower was built.
Photos Parish  Door of the church    Capital   Tabernacle   


Vico Pancellorum (Bagni di Lucca)
Romanesque parish of S.Paolo - Vico Pancellorum (Bagni di Lucca)The Parish of S.Paolo of Vico Pancellorum, is one of the most ancient of the Val of Lima, the many restaurations that she has suffered during the centuries, make difficult to establish with certainty the date of its building, analyzing some parts of the structure been almost unchanged we can hypothesize both happened around the VIII century, however the first documented historical news we find her inside a 873 parchment in which the presbitero Alpari I give birth of the it was Lucci, it communicates the intention to the Bishop Gherardo of pour him 36 money for every year that the Parish will hold "Plebem and S.Pauli in Vico Panuceulorum", subsequently we find again news of his/her existence in a document of March 18 th 942 in which the Bishop of Lucca Corrado ordered in the church of the Saints Giovanni and Paul situated in "Ubi Dicitur Vico Panitialorum" the presbitero Lamperto I give birth of the you was Romano, the same day, the priest Lamperto allivellò to their brothers Pietro and Andrew you give birth of the dead Cristina, for an annual estate of 42 silver moneys, the tithes of the Parish poured by the men of "Vico Panitialorum", "Limanum", "Casule", "Lacu and Lagovectio." 
After the XI century the documents become more numerous, for about one century a series of rental leases they will tell the history of some priests of the Parish
In the list of the churchs of the 1260 Lucca Diocese her "Plebes de Vico Panceloro", it possesses to his/her dependences a hermitage "Cell Crucis Brandelliane", the two churches of Casoli, "Ecclesia S.Donati de Casore", "Ecclesia S.Andree de Lacu" and the church of they File "Ecclesia S.Martini de File. 
As all the ancient Parishes, also that of Vico Pancellorum easily built out of the country in an attainable place, the steep path that reached it from the fondovalle, after having reached the castle of the suburb, it continued along the slopes of the mountain Balzonero toward the Appennino crossing him. 
Typical Parish (or basilica) Latin-lombardo, almost entirely built in stones of small cut, it has three aisles supported by eight colomns  overhung by capitals  adorned with geometric and anthropomorphous figures, its apse put to east to its inside entertains a great wooden statue raffigurante S.Paolo and its right aisle it has a stupendous marmoreal tabernacle (XV century) attributable to the Civitali, besides these works of art its inside has also enriched of a font of 1550 and an organ of the XVII century. 
The door of entry of the Parish is surmounted by a lintel in stone, that brings above graven a crucifix (typical iconografia of the Face Saint), a tree, an unrecognizable figure, a great chessboard and a female figure on the throne, these sketches don't seem connected among them, even if the whole sketch would seem to make a call to the New Will, hypothesis that could be confirmed only with the deciphering of the unrecognizable figure. 
His  bell tower subsequently built to the Parish (perhaps XI century), in the initial line up to the first bifores it preserves the original structure in all of her beauty, the superior part following his/her deterioration, in 1790 he was reconstructed in bad way without taking care of the details and the style of the base of it.
Photos Parish    Parish  n°1 - n°2         Ancient painting        Baptismal source  n°1 - n°2


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