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Longobard Temple

What to see in Cividale del Friuli, Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia


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the Unesco Heritage from 2011, the Longobard Temple of Cividale del Fiuli is considered the most important and best preserved architectural evidence of the Longobard age. The prized embodiment demonstrates a stylistic continuity is unique in the world between the roman art, Lombards, Carolingian and ottonian. The temple was built toward the middle of the VIII century in the place where once stood the gastaldia (or gastaldaga, or gastalderia), or the Palace of gastaldo, lord of the city; it was therefore a Cappella Palatina. When the gastaldia was transformed in the monastery the tempietto took on the new name of the monastery of Santa Maria in Valle. The Court had occupied the area in which we now find the former convent of the Ursuline mothers and included buildings such as the gastaldia, seat of the government longobardo, the residence of the duke and the temple that was the Chapel of the Court.

It is composed of a house with a square base with a spacious cross vault, which closes with a presbytery, lowest divided by pairs of columns in a loggia with three bays with barrel vaults parallel. The west side was the ancient wall at the entrance and on this side there are still substantial remains of an extraordinary decoration and stuccoes to fresco. Currently the Tempietto is accessed from the inlet to the former monastery (now owned by the town and there exits through a gangway to precipice on the Natisone, does not exist in origin, which leads to the outlet through the sacristy and a secondary inlet formed in the wall of the presbytery. The chapel is formed by a high central volume that constitutes the chamber on the bottom wall of which there is the facade portal richly ornamented, now closed and communicating with the convent; here is the cantoria in wood dating back to the Fifteenth Century. The presbytery is divided by four paired columns and by two rectangular pillars, which delineate three compartments with a barrel vault, and is separated from the classroom from the parapet of the iconostasis.

The lunette of the door is framed between tangles of vines with bunches. At the center is portrayed Christ among the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, while at the same log is located a band frescoed with Martyrs. Above the lunette of the portal develops an elaborate frieze of tendrils, made a day, framed by rosettes within which were arranged vitreous pearls. The most interesting part is however the frieze at the top level, freely superimposed to the architectural elements of the building as the windows. Here are six relief figures of saints, stucco, exceptionally well preserved: their monumental figures are to be connected to the classical models, read according to the Lombard culture. The drapery of the garments richly decorated have a trend markedly straight that recalls the Byzantine models, from which however Le Sante deviate for the greater sense of volume and for the verticalismo, further marked by the length of the folds of the coats. The chapel is decorated with some cycles of frescoes realized in different eras: if they keep detached fragments also in the sacristy and in the Christian Museum of the dome.

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Cividale del Friuli

Cividale del Friuli

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Studio La Fortezza
Contrada Collalto, 7, 33057 Palmanova UD, Palmanova (Udine)
21.16 Kilometers from Longobard Temple
= distances as the crow flies
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