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S. Angelo in Formis 1

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Sant Angelo in Formis (Page 1 of 2)


 The view from the court yard in front of the church
   About 10 km north of Capua on Via Galatina, at the foot of Monte Tifata is Sant' Angelo in Formis. ( The caretakers house is just beyond the arch on the right.  He will escort you to the church for a small fee.) (Pichey)

    This Romanesque basilica was built in 925 AD on the ruins of a large ancient temple dedicated to Diana, the protector of forests and the goddess of chastity.   The church  was finished under the supervision of the abbot Desiderius from the Abbey of Montecassino (20 km north).(Nucci)

    The facade of Sant' Angelo in Formis is graced with a delicate portico of five arches, upheld by four Corinthian columns that were probably taken from the original temple.  (see Capua Main for photo)

A brilliantly detailed capital that is reused inside the church.

     In the photo above you can see the view From the courtyard in front of the church.  Capua can be seen in the distance.

   Inside, the central nave is divided from its side aisles by 14 columns some granite and some marble.  It is quite a hodge-podge of different elements. (left)  Some of the columns are red granite others are white marble, still there are others carved from green marble.  The Italians have a history of reusing elements from earlier eras.  This basilica epitomizes this element of Italian ingenuity.  Pieces from diverse origins were brought together here from the surrounding area. (Nucci)  The white marble stones that make up the base of the bell tower were once part of the amphitheater in Capua Vettere.

      Although it is one of the best examples of medieval ecclesiastical architecture in Campania, Sant' Angelo in Formis is even more important for its well preserved frescoes.  These expressively depicted stories ore clearly influenced by Byzantine models.  Both those done in the portico and on the walls within were finished in the second half of the 11th century.  The life of  Jesus is depicted above the arches in the central nave (right) while on the back wall there is a chilling scene depicting the Last Judgement. (Pichey, 80)

Murals telling the tales of Christianity line the walls of the main hall

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