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Vimercate (Monza e Brianza): Convent of the Capuchin friars

Foto Convent of the Capuchin friars
Foto Convent of the Capuchin friars
Foto Convent of the Capuchin friars
Foto Convent of the Capuchin friars
Foto Convent of the Capuchin friars
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Places  of historical value  of artistic value around Milan (Italy): Convent of the Capuchin friarsThe convent of the Capuchin friars is located to the east of the historic core of Oreno, in turn a fraction of Vimercate located to the west of the latter. It is accessed via an ancient road, slightly uphill and with double arched entrance door (Fig. 2), which leads to the convent square, on which the church of San Francesco (Fig. 1) stands.
The convent is located almost adjacent to the park of Villa Gallarati Scotti.

According to tradition the friars were called to Oreno by the provost Tedaldo dei Valvassori of Oreno to counter the Cathar heresy, which spread in nearby Concorezzo. In reality the first documents mentioning the convent date back only to 1251.
Over the centuries the convent enjoyed various enlargements. At the beginning of the fifteenth century a chapel dedicated to Saint Nazaro is documented. In the same century the new convent was built, perfectly square, next to the current sacristy, while in the early sixteenth century the Blessed Virgin's School built a chapel dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. In 1769 a decree of suppression caused the closure and transfer to the nearby convent of the Franciscans of Vimercate, Franciscans who only returned to Oreno in the mid-twentieth century.

The Church of San Francesco was built in the seventeenth century. The facade is very simple and is based on straight lines (pilasters and cornices) that intersect to create six rectangular panels. However the fact that the height of the central panels does not coincide with that of the side panels and the presence of curved lines in some details details, in particular the central window, create movement. On the sides of the door there are two niches with the statues of St. Francis and St. Anthony from Padua, while on the top there is a large triangular pediment.
The interior comprehends a single nave, rather long and with two baroque chapels, one on each side, near the presbytery.

The presbytery houses a large altar in carved and gilded wood. The retable extends to the sides to form a high balustrade that divides the presbytery from the deep rectangular chorus on the bottom (Fig. 5), choir which can be accessed via two small doors on the sides of the altar.
The choir includes two orders of seats, with the front ones consisting of simple benches.

The decorations of the church are almost completely concentrated in the presbytery and in the choir, whose ceilings are entirely frescoed in Baroque style. Above the presbytery there is a trompe l'oeil decoration to simulate a dome open to a sky in which the dove of the Holy Spirit and some angels fly. Above the choir, on the other hand, a wedges decoration, with trompe l'oeil vases at the base of the segments, the latter ones occupied by plant-themed stylized decorative elements.

The cloister is instead of the sixteenth century and consists of a double order of arched loggias, with stone columns on the ground floor to which correspond masonry pillars on the first floor.

The bell tower, finally, is of the seventeenth century, with the upper part containing the bells, of the following century.

Categories: Places of historical value of artistic value


Via S. Francesco 1 – 20871 ORENO DI VIMERCATE – MB