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Collegiate Church of St. Saviour

What to see in Alessano, Lecce, Apulia


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the Collegiate Church of St. Saviour of Alessano was built between the XVIII and XIX century on a previous building in romanesque style, was the cathedral until 1818. The cathedral was adjacent to the walls of the city, at its limit south-east; extended for about two thirds of the present building and was an example of local Romanesque style. It there remain some plans dating back however to the XVI century, when the building was already been rearranged several times. In the same document of 1198 is said that the cathedral was satis wide, spacious enough for the population alessanese which at the time was not to exceed the thousand units. The construction of the new building was the demolition of the front part of the old one, the remake of the presbytery, the increase of about five meters of the walls and a new coverage in stone and lime; the new building would have been so two times larger than the previous one, would have had a Latin cross plan, a crypt under the main altar and a dome at the center of the transept. The church was completed in November of 1839, but was opened to worship only in 1844, when it was also completed the facade, designed by engineer alessanese Torsello Benedict.

The facade of the collegiate church of the holy saviour overlooks Piazza Don Tonino Bello (formerly called Piazza recruitment); the building is oriented in a slightly oblique with respect to the square since its plan follows the lines of the walls which today no longer exists. Since the building is raised, there is accessed by climbing a wide staircase ten steps. The facade, neoclassical style, is incomplete; has a severe prospect squared in which is written a triangular tympanum which overlies three portals scanned by pilasters. The central portal is surmounted by the coat of arms of Alessano; the two lateral, smaller, bear above an oculus each. In 1994 on portals were installed doors in bronze by the sculptor Marco Pieri, donated to the church by a devout and depicting episodes from the life of Jesus. The ecclesiastical complex also belong the buildings adjacent to the rectory, a time reserved to the college, today used for meetings, covens and other activities. Of the ancient cathedral stands the 17th century bell-tower on the right side of the Church, containing four bells of which two belonging to the old building.

The church has a Latin cross plan, with three naves emphasized by quadrinati pillars. The decorations are not attributable to a particular artistic style, but have similarities with the shapes of the late baroque style of Lecce. The present church is elevated with respect to the road surface as in its basement there are some environments a time used for tombs.

  • Piazza Don Tonino Bello, 7, Alessano (Lecce)
  • Religious location

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