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Busto Arsizio (Varese): Civic temple of Sant'Anna - Church of the Blessed Virgin of Graces

Foto Civic temple of Sant'Anna - Church of the Blessed Virgin of Graces
Foto Civic temple of Sant'Anna - Church of the Blessed Virgin of Graces
Foto Civic temple of Sant'Anna - Church of the Blessed Virgin of Graces
Foto Civic temple of Sant'Anna - Church of the Blessed Virgin of Graces
Foto Civic temple of Sant'Anna - Church of the Blessed Virgin of Graces
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Places  of historical value  of artistic value around Milan (Italy): Civic temple of Sant'Anna - Church of the Blessed Virgin of GracesThe church is a small jewel of eighteenth-century baroque art and architecture. It was built in just four years starting in 1710 in an area at that time outside the city, on the road that connected Busto Arsizio with Fagnano Olona. It can therefore be called a country church, although it is the most refined of its kind.
The church was created in relation to an image considered miraculous on a wall of a farmhouse in its immediate vicinity. The image, a deposition, was later transferred inside the church and inserted in the center of the altarpiece, where it is still visible today.
Another peculiarity of the church is the double dedication: on the one hand to the Virgin of the Graces, on the other to St. Anna, by virtue of the day on which the first stone was laid.

The outside is entirely in exposed brick but nevertheless very refined, because the bricks were used to create very elaborate decorative structures, in particular at the level of the bell tower, characterized by complex and original shapes.
The plan of the church is octagonal, more precisely it is a square with rounded corners. Inside the pillars culminate with Corinthian capitals. Above them the trabeation that divides the walls from the ceiling.
The interior is dominated by the circular dome with trapezoidal spandrels. In the short walls (those corresponding to the rounded corners of the square) there are four niches with statues of Saints Peter, Paul, Ambrose and Charles.
The dome was frescoed in 1713-1714 by Salvatore and Francesco Maria Bianchi together with Giovanni Gallieri with a Glory of the Virgin with Saints Anna, Joseph, John the Baptist and Michael. Together with the dome they also decorated the spandrels (virtue of the Virgin), the vaults of the presbytery (Assumption), the vault of the prothyrum in front of the entrance door (angels), the altarpiece (Sant'Anna, San Gioacchino, the Eternal Father and the Holy Spirit), the little door of the tabernacle (Saint Joseph cradling the Child).
The wrought iron gate that closes the presbytery dates back to 1715 and was built by Paolo Fancesco Salmoiraghi.
The altar presents a frontal in scagliola by Pietro Solari (1722), while the paintings on the walls of the presbytery are more recent: Madonna child who learns reading and Meeting with Elisabeth (Luigi Tagliaferri, 1880)

In the early decades of the nineteenth century the church was degraded to gunpowder deposit by occupying armies.
Fortunately in 1830 it was restored to its original function.
In 1880 it was subjected to restoration works, of which the architect Maciachini was commissioned. During these works the 18th century organ was eliminated.
Since 1959 it is also Civic Temple, with on the walls the tombstones that recall the citizens of Busto Arsizio fallen in the various wars.

Categories: Places of historical value of artistic value


Via Andrea Zappellini, 19, 21052 Busto Arsizio VA