CHURCH OF SAN GEORGE


The church of St. George
The first building of the church of San Giorgio is attributed around the end of the eleventh century.
Period of the cult and the devotion to the saint by the Benedictines which enjoyed the religious probably as a small oratory. This stood on the charming hill, which overlooks the town and the landscape, surrounded by fertile land; this was in fact, the costume monastic era: settle in a place inviting to meditation and prayer, and at the same time you can toggle the contemplative life with the farm work.
A second reconstruction took place at the end of the fifteenth century, probably between 1479 and 1481, with the construction of the church with a single nave with a quadrangular apse oriented to the east and the west entrance facade. The addition of the side chapels and sixteenth-century ossuary became permanently preexisting oratory in the current church.
Consecrated by St. Charles Borromeo in 1570 was designated as a parish church in 1575. The oldest part of this unique architectural ensemble is the bell tower that stands on the left side next to the apse. It built the foundation stone molera, while at the top, paneled crowned with hanging arches, there are small single and narrow slits: characters that highlight its origin dating from the late eleventh century. and the beginning of the twelfth century.
The exterior facade includes a characteristic eighteenth century door and the large rose window above, terracotta strongly splayed, which lets in the light inside. Top repeating the hanging arches and a moulder of the attic brick and brick ledges formed by saw tooth extends on the sides with a double row. On the left side and outside of the church, at a lower level, it is a singular votive chapel porch with sides and two arches supported by a column in gneiss. Built between 1730 and 1756 served as a ossuary. Inside, in fact, they were kept standing in a row on the altar of the ancient skulls authentic recovered during excavations.
The nave of the church is divided into four sections by three pointed arches that support the roof gabled wooden head while extending the apse on whose walls is an important cycle of frescoes and the center of the presbytery we find the ' neoclassical altar surmounted by a ciborium.
On either side, in the first half of 1500, two large rectangular chapels were built: one on the left, built by the family of Careni, once called St. Ambrose then with the subsequent division into two smaller rooms of St. George and St. Rocco; the right of St. John the Baptist, with a polygonal apse with upper opening cross-shaped, by the brothers Giovanni Andrea and Giovan Angelo Annoni that made decorate with a beautiful Altarpiece of which more later. Finally, in support to the walls of the chapel above the nave and XV it will be achieved in the eighteenth century the sacristy.

The frescoes
"The frescoes on the back wall of the apse depict the Crucified between the Virgin and St. John, in the presence of St. George on the left and right of St. Ambrose. A colonnade of four columns framing the center, with a wide arch serliana, the main scene and the sides of the island the two patron saints, one of the church and the other in the Diocese. Once the center is depicted God the Father with musical angels, surrounded by almond cherubs, whose color is almost completely lost. The four Evangelists, before their lecterns and identified by symbols, are not separated from each other by the ribs of the sails, according to tradition, but rest on plumes grotesque monochrome on a background of starry sky. The arch shows the twelve Apostles in bust."
This fine example of Lombard painting is attributed to Maria Teresa Binaghi Olivari, who directed the restoration work in 1974, the Master of the Sforza Altarpiece by assigning it to the years 1496-98.

The Passion of Ancona
Ancona The Passion is a great altarpiece in carved and painted wood made in the mid-sixteenth century by a workshop Antwerp and commissioned by a nobleman Giovan Angelo Annoni for the family chapel. In it alternate paintings and sculptures narrating the dramatic story of the Passion. Its structure is given by two distinct elements, and overlapping, the bridle and the ancona real.
The first paintings are episodes of the Kiss of Judas and the Capture of Jesus, the Last Supper and Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane separated by pillars finely carved and gilded. In the second are, however, a double row of carved scenes with considerable relief and surprising richness of detail.
In the upper level, centrally located and higher, there is the Crucifixion inserted in a serliana and accompanied by a drop of Christ and Veronica, left, and the Deposition, right, while in the lower are given, always in the same order The Ecce Homo, the Flagellation and the Crowning with Thorns. All how many scenes are limited to very elaborate architectural frames.
Top wide wooden frame with gilded reliefs and rich in ornamental borders crown the entire altarpiece. The two wings of the altarpiece, where necessary lockable cabinet, depicting the inside of the Resurrection of Christ and the Last Judgment on the left and right respectively outside St. George and the dragon and St. Andrew with the client.
In 2004 at the Diocesan Museum of Milan's work it has undergone a gentle restoration that found in several places the brand in Antwerp, representing two black hands, attesting that they come from a shop in that city. The same punch had already been found in an altarpiece very similar to our still preserved in the Cathedral of Roskilde in Denmark.

The archaeological excavation
The complex renovations of the church recently signed included a major archaeological dig with the complete removal of the floor in the chapels of St. John the Baptist and St. Rocco in the sacristy and in the presbytery in the chapel of St. George and partial and the nave. This survey has brought to light new and interesting aspects such as traces of a previous flooring, numerous tombs and some pre-existing masonry structures. Although he knew by the time taken from the building religious historic function cemetery ceased only in 1813 with the construction of the cemetery to the south of the country following the promulgation of the Napoleonic laws the discovery of numerous bone remains outside the church as well as the discovery of sepulchral structures inside it is the measure so far only intuited.
The graves, some in bare land and other real rooms with cockpit and tombstones to close them, are distributed in the chapels and along the outer sides of the aisle; some held for other communities instead "noble" belonging to prominent families such as the Annoni, the Carpani / Hull, the Ferrari.
Several tombstones bearing inscriptions are still visible in the current thread while the floor near the altar is lowered and now readable through a glass plate as floor space. Very interesting is the presence of old masonry structures detected at the entrance of the church and the presbytery, the same views and documented by St. Charles Borromeo on the occasion of the pastoral visit which took place in 1571. The first indicates a sort of compass Access ; the second refers to a wooden structure which divider between the presbytery and the area adjacent to the altar. These tracks along with other components suggest the existence of a floor lower than today. Unfortunately, the regret is given by the lack of opportunity to find wall elements related to a previous dating eleventh century (the beautiful Romanesque bell tower), although it has identified in a wall of the chapel of St. Rocco is the oldest of the entire building.