Furore Churches: St Elia, St Giacomo, St Michele
More photos - Furore Churches: St Elia, St Giacomo, St Michele
Despite its magical atmosphere of witches and furious noise of the sea, Furore has an important religious heritage made of four churches. Three of them share similar structure of two aisles and a nave, however each one is different from the other for some decoration details or for the history that each one carries.
A walk along the highest part of Furore cliff, visiting the churches will be an occasion to discover yet another aspect of this wonderful village.
Saint Elia Church
is located in the most peripheral area of Furore, it is the only church with just a central nave, however it has a very intricate structure as during the years subject to many refurbishments, which have dramatically altered its original look. The core of the Saint Elia Church is the squared nave towered by a cross patterned vault supported by two small columns. This is thought to be the original part of the Church, to which in XV century was added the large nave, with a chapel on each side and the presbytery. The multi-level steeple was probably built during this time as well.
On the inside there is a famous 1479 wooden triptych by Angelo Antonello di Capua representing the Virgin Mary and the Saints Elia and Bartolomeo.
Saint Giacomo Church
is the most important religious site of Furore as well as being the most ancient one. There are news of this Church in documents dating back to the time when the area of Furore was known as Santi Jacobi de Casanova.In 1858 the parish Don Giuseppe Fiorio commissioned a thorough restyling of the Church, therefore today is very difficult to perceive the original shape of the Church. For this reason a local architecture historian has dedicated many years to study how the Church was originally planned. His research work can be viewed inside the Church. Today Saint Giacomo Church has a typical two aisles and a nave structure, separated by arches supported by small columns, the central roof is flat whereas the later ones are towered by cross-patterned vaults. Below the newer layers of the right aisles walls, researchers have discovered very ancient fresco paintings, indicating the presence of a rupestrian chapel, thus a further proof of Saint Giacomo's ancient origins. The Church was most probably built on the ruins of this central hub, and the rupestrian Chapel used for burials and funerals.
There is a rich collection of religious iconography of female Saints, Lucia, Maddalena and Caterina d'Alessandria, and most important of all a fresco painting collection narrating the story of Saint Margherita, which most probably dates back to medieval time.
The entrance to the Church is below the impressive colourful steeple, which sticks out above the village, being one of the most recognisable elements of the local landscape.
Saint Michele Church
is an interesting example of so called popular baroque art and architecture, typical of this area around the XVII century.
Furthermore the overlapping of gothic elements, such as the sharp arch, with Romanesque figurative decorations, indicated how this Church was originally built at a time of great change in artistic trends.
The inner structure is divided into two aisles and a nave with linear columns with simply patterned marble capitals which are part together with the fresco painting on the central roof of the original layout of the Church. The side aisles are towered by sharp cross vaults, which contrast with the flat roof above the nave. The right aisle is lit by XVI century windows. The simple manufacture of the three altars in the three semicircular apses, are emblematic of the local trend to adjust baroque architecture to poorer materials, yet obtaining extraordinarily rich results.