Photographer's Note

Church of San Tommaso - Spoleto

One of the many Romanesque churches of Spoleto, already in ruins and now decorously restored and transformed into a private home with the adjoining small monastery. The first news in which the Colle di San Tommaso is mentioned dates back to 2 December 1193. It is a document in which a certain Aliante, son of Bongiorno, sells the half of a plot of land in this word to Oddone di Adamo for sixteen Lucca lire. , which he held on loan from the church of San Concordio di Spoleto, to which the buyer must pay the income of a Lucchese each year. The information is sparse, but interesting because it reveals that on that date there was already an ecclesiastical property on the hill and the church probably already existed, which the architectural features date back to the early Romanesque period of Spoleto, around the twelfth century. The monastery of San Tommaso de Colle, held by religiouse mulieres of noble extraction, appears for the first time in a parchment of 1236, in which Gregory IX ratifies the union of the church of San Concordio with the related goods to the Chapter of Cathedral of Spoleto, there are reported the depositions of some witnesses for a dispute that arose between the church of San Tommaso and some inhabitants of Ancaiano about the possession of a land, the document is drawn up apud monasterium Sancti Thome. In 1254 Bishop Bartolomeo Accoramboni imposed the apostolate and Augustinian rule on the religie mulieres residing in the monastery of St. Thomas, placing those women at the service of the new hospital of the Stella. However, some nuns of San Tommaso refused to obey, the bishop therefore resorted to the inquisitor Fra Andrea da Todi who forbade those women to return to live in San Tommaso, propter suspitionem heretice pravitatis, deeming that bizzocaggio unsuitable for female religious life; Pope Alexander IV, from Anagni, on November 27, 1259, with the letter “Solet annuere”, ratified everything; starting from that date the events of the female community already in San Tommaso are linked to the New Hospital of the Star and the monastery on the hill was abandoned.

Built in Romanesque forms, in well-connected rows of ashlar, typical of the early Spoleto Romanesque probably at the end of the 12th century; it is characterized by the elegant apse, divided by pilasters and crowned by a series of hanging arches, some of which retain their mosaic ornaments in small semicircular recesses. Reused elements are inserted on the left-hand side wall, probably coming from a pre-existing Roman building. In the right wall there was a small marble relief with the blessing redeemer, now stolen; on the same wall you can see shelves with zoomorphic and phytomorphic decorations protruding from the curtain wall and, near a side door now walled up, a tympanum decorated with an eagle with spread wings, probably the remains of a late Roman work. The bell tower with a single brick archway, probably of a later construction, is placed on the right, on the back, in line with the apse wall.

The interior of the church, now used as a warehouse, has a single nave; before the restoration work it was almost in ruins, roofless and covered with brambles, but who wrote as a boy, around the 60s of the last century, still read frescoes in the apse, an angel and another figure was recognizable with some buildings in the background, probably a representation of the Annunciation, they are now almost completely lost. The small monastery, formerly inhabited by Augustinian nuns, then transferred to the Stella monastery in 1259, is now used as a private residence and has been restored respecting the original architectural lines.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 18511 W: 130 N: 39234] (210541)
  • Genre: Lieux
  • Medium: Couleur
  • Date Taken: 2020-02-15
  • Exposition: 30 secondes
  • Versions: version originale
  • Date Submitted: 2020-10-30 0:43
Viewed: 0
Points: 44
  • None
Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 18511 W: 130 N: 39234] (210541)
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