The beautiful parish church dedicated to S. Maria Archenda and to the co-patrons Stephen and Genesius, with a curvilinear façade in terracotta, was built in 1752 on the foundations of an older building, as evidenced by the 14th-century Romanesque-style bell tower.
The four pinnacles placed on the spire are a special feature that makes it unique in all of Astigiano.
This church, dedicated to God Optimus Maximus, was renovated by superimposing on the original Gothic-Romanesque style with the Baroque style both in the facade and in the arches of the windows, in the stuccoes and in the decorations.
The date of the renovation is evidenced by a plaque in Latin placed above the entrance portal.
Inside it has a single nave, separated from the presbytery by a marble balustrade, with four side chapels decorated in eighteenth-century stucco and illuminated by baroque windows.
The vaults and internal walls of the church are entirely decorated: of the primitive decoration (1780-1800) today only the fresco in the background of the apse remains, admirable for the correctness of the colours and the perspective construction with which the run of the side walls ends, representing a rich green canopy supported by a colonnade with a large oval-shaped picture in the center depicting the patron saints of the town.
Entering the church through the right door, a beautiful wooden crucifix from the late 16th century can be admired.
The second chapel on the right houses the oil on canvas painting of the “Our Lady and Child with St. Anthony of Padua”, from the 17th century: the author, under investigation, is Bartolomeo Caravoglia (1620-1691), an Italian painter believed to be a pupil of Guercino.
In the first chapel on the left we find the altar which houses the oil on canvas painting of the "Our Lady of the Girdle with St. Augustine and St. Monica,", 17th century, a valuable work by Guglielmo Caccia known as "Moncalvo" (1568-1625).
One of the jewels of the parish is the majestic “Giuseppe Candini 1906” pipe organ. It features thirty-five pipes with three central cusps on a single span, but inside it holds about one thousand five hundred. In 2018, careful restoration work was carried out on the organ, which also made it possible to obtain a photographic documentation of the frescoes behind it. Upon completion of the restoration, Maestro Alessandro Bianchi held the inauguration concert.
St. Mary Archenda, from the Greek, is she who brings help, Mary Help of Christians.
St. Genesius, a mime and court comedian in Rome, for professing membership in Christianity, suffered martyrdom under Diocletian. He is considered a saint by both the Catholic and Orthodox churches.
St. Stephen, venerated as a saint by all Churches that admit the cult of saints, was a protomartyr, that is, among the first Christians to have given their lives to bear witness to their faith in Christ and for the spread of the Gospel. His martyrdom took place by stoning in the presence of Paul of Tarsus, before the latter's conversion.
Comune di Rocca d'Arazzo
- Chiesa Parrocchiale
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