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Red Church or Santa Maria at the Font

Foto Red Church or Santa Maria at the Font -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Red Church or Santa Maria at the Font -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Red Church or Santa Maria at the Font -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Red Church or Santa Maria at the Font -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Red Church or Santa Maria at the Font -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Red Church or Santa Maria at the Font -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Red Church or Santa Maria at the Font -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Red Church or Santa Maria at the Font -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Red Church or Santa Maria at the Font -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Red Church or Santa Maria at the Font -  Churches / Religious buildings
Show an other treasure of art and history in Milan:
Milan - Churches / Religious buildings: Red Church or Santa Maria at the FontMostly represented styles: Romanesque

The small Church of Santa Maria della Fonte has various names: it is also known as Santa Maria alla Conca Fallata or simply Red Church.

It is a very old church. Although the present building probably dates back to the mid-twelfth century, in the same place there was formerly an older church and, before that, a roman building only later adapted to the new pre-Christian cult. Witness are the Roman remains found under it during the restoration works. There are, in particular, the remains of a Roman black and white mosaic floor and a head of a broken Roman statue, used as the foundation stone (the Romans used to recycle everything). The excavations that took place during the restoration work have also led to the discovery of the remains of a latelongobard floor.

The construction of the present building is contemporary with the settlement in the area of a community of Benedictine nuns. At the beginning of the fourteenth century, the church passed to a community of nuns of St. Augustine. Towards the end of that century, the church was extended forward, and the current facade dates back to that period.

Of the many frescoes that originally adorned the interior of the Church of Santa Maria della Fonte unfortunately very little is left. Those in the apse date from the fourteenth century, but they were made in a style that makes them look even older. The frescoes on the walls of the church date back to the thirteenth century. Unfortunately, the fresco of the Madonna and Child with Saints on the cusp of the facade has become almost invisible.

The history of the Red Church or Church of Santa Maria alla Conca Fallata is intertwined with that of the adjacent Pavese Canal, whose construction stopped at the beginning of the seventeenth century just at the height of the church (hence the name Conca Fallata, which means something like wrong canal). The construction of the causeway beside the canal led to infiltration problems within the church, problems which led to the construction of a new floor in 1783, 3 meters above the original one.

After nearly two centuries of decline, the Church of Santa Maria della Fonte saw a first restoration starting in 1966. Further restoration works took place in the early 2000s. In this way it was possible to restore the original appearance.

The Church of Santa Maria della Fonte is today a building of red bricks, with a single nave. The interior is very simple, but the apse and the two chapels beside it represent a structure of great elegance and stylistic harmony.

The Red Church or St. Mary the Fallata is owned by the City of Milan since 1960.

Further pictures of the church on the Google+ page.

If you are interested in a guided tour of this monument send an email!

Categories: Churches / Religious buildings


Via Chiesa Rossa 55 - 20142 Milano