Romanesque church, has undergone several transformations over the centuries that have changed its original appearance.
In the San Giovanni valley, now a hamlet of Calamandrana, stood the Romanesque church dedicated to St. John at the Shells, on top of a low hill.
The church is rich in historical events, especially in medieval times, and has changed its appareance over the centuries.
The present image of St. John at the Shells has totally changed from the primitive one.
In the Romanesque style only the apse has remained, which is embedded in the right flank of the present church.
Symmetrically to it was built another apse, similar, but smaller and in neo-Gothic style, while a third, much higher, located to the north, is late Baroque and closes the inner space of the chancel.
A fourth element, the square bell tower, volumetrically accords the two apses, Romanesque and late Baroque, to the body of the church. This interplay of intersections then made the space inside the building almost circular.
Inside, the walls turn out to be decorated with 19th-century frescoes of popular workmanship; however, the figures that appear in the Romanesque apse basin seem to trace, in iconography, earlier and more ancient frescoes.
The wall structure of the entire building is of brick.
Only in the Romanesque apse do we find sandstone ashlars: both in the "throat" frame, placed under the attic, and in the traditional theory of hanging arches, resting on small brackets, as well as in the jambs and false arches, with recessed ferrules, of the three small windows.
Subtle geometric decorations are carved on the monolithic blocks in which the arches and ferrules were carved.
Subtle geometric decorations are carved on the monolithic blocks into which were carved the bows and ferrules.
Each of the three fields of the apse is punctuated by pilasters that are connected to the hanging arches through small capitals, decorated with highly stylized phytomorphic designs, among which a human head also pops out.
The bricks and corners are well filed: this fact and the stencilling of the mortar beds indicate restorative interventions not far away.
It stands in a panoramic position.
• Availability: it is possible to visit the church by using the app Chiese a Porte Aperte and book free admission, enter and visit while listening to the narrator's voice (daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
For all information, please refer to the website: www.cittaecattedrali.it
Comune di Calamandrana
- Storia del paese
- Chiesa di S. Giovanni alle Conche
Città e Cattedrali
- CHIESA DI SAN GIOVANNI ALLE CONCHE
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