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Momo (Novara, Italy): Church of Santa Maria Assunta

Foto Church of Santa Maria Assunta
Foto Church of Santa Maria Assunta
Foto Church of Santa Maria Assunta
Foto Church of Santa Maria Assunta
Foto Church of Santa Maria Assunta
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Places  of historical value  of artistic value around Milan (Italy): Church of Santa Maria AssuntaHISTORY
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta was originally the parish church of Castelletto, once a municipality in its own right and today a fraction of Momo. The church today is no longer a parish church, but a subsidiary church.
Its origins are very ancient, being mentioned already in a document of 1349.
It was affected, at the end of the sixteenth century, by a first series of renovations, however using the existing structures as a basis. The bell tower still present today dates back to this period (but it was increased in height in 1933). Further, more radical, changes around 1690 led the church to acquire the current structure. In particular, the facade should date back to that period.
In the first half of the eighteenth century the current high altar was placed in position. In the middle of this century, the polychrome marble balustrade that delimits the presbytery and the stucco decorations on the arches of the presbytery and chapels were added.
Finally, in 1939, the pictorial decorations were created.

The church has a single nave, but the facade has the particularity of suggesting the presence of three. It is in fact divided vertically into three parts, where the lateral parts correspond, however, to service rooms and not to the proper interior of the church. Another peculiarity is that the central part of the façade has two orders, while the lateral ones have a single order. The central part is furthermore marked by pilasters, which further divide it into three parts. The door is framed by a rather elaborate portal and is preceded by a small portico on two columns. Above the door there is a portrait of the Virgin.
On the facade there are six frames of the same structure and equipped with a triangular tympanum. The two in the lateral parts and in the upper order of the facade host niches with statues of saints. Those present in the lower order of the central part host two windows. In the center at the upper order there is also an oculus. The facade ends at the top with a large triangular tympanum. The upper edge of the facade is decorated with a statue of the Virgin in the center, accompanied by two statues of musician angels on each side.
The interior has a single nave with a lunette vault. The illumination is good, thanks to the presence, in addition to the windows on the facade, also of two windows in the upper part of the right wall and three in the choir. The entire vault and all the lunettes are decorated with frescoes in a style halfway between Neo-Baroque and Art Nouveau created, as mentioned, in 1939. The surface of the vault is divided into panels by simulated stucco frames. The two major panels in the center depict St. Anthony the Abbot in glory (first span) and the Assumption of the Virgin (second span). Episodes from the life of the Virgin are depicted in the lunettes.
The interior of the church is marked by double pilasters with Corinthian capital. On each of them there is a frame containing the fresco of a saint. Note the presence, between the two pilasters in the middle of the right wall, of a fresco dating back to the previous version of the church: a Nursing Virgin, probably to be attributed to the workshop of Debosis, and therefore dating back to a period between the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century (larger picture).
The church has two side chapels plus a small baptistery.
The two side chapels have the same structure: rectangular plan with barrel vault, delimitation by a stone balustrade and arch decorated with Baroque stucco. The left side chapel (Fig. 3) is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. It has a wooden altar with a large baroque altarpiece. The retable includes a large niche in the center, containing a statue of the Virgin and placed between two twisted columns that support a broken tympanum. Two cherubs lying on top of the niche frame support the crown. The back wall of the chapel has a stucco decoration to simulate a large drapery.
The right side chapel, originally dedicated to San Rocco, is now dedicated to the Souls in Purgatory (Fig. 4). Altar and altarpiece are characterized by a very dark, almost black color. On the sides of the altar two statues evidently still dating back to the previous dedication: on the left San Rocco and on the right St. Anthony the Abbot.
The small baptistery is immediately to the left of the entrance. It should be noted that the pictorial decorations present are very reminiscent of those present in the baptismal font of the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. In particular, the frescoes in the lunettes are almost identical.
The presbytery, bordered by a rich polychrome marble balustrade, is, in proportion to the size of the church, very deep and extremely rich in decorations. The entrance arch is decorated with mid-eighteenth-century stuccoes depicting garlands and, in the center, two winged cherubs holding a plaque. The whole vault is frescoed with biblical characters and angels, divided by simulated frames and garlands of flowers. On the back wall the Assumption of the Virgin and, in the lunette, her Coronation. The two windows in the back wall depict, in the form of a glass mosaic, the Blessed Panexia and St. Gaudentius. On the side walls two large frescoes with scenes from the Gospel: on the left Jesus calming the storm, on the right Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well.
In the rear part the lower parts of the walls are occupied by a sober but elegant wooden choir.
At the center of the presbytery is the large Baroque altar in polychrome marble (Fig. 5), dating back to the first half of the eighteenth century.

Finally, the sacristy deserves to be mentioned, with its beautiful vaulted ceiling with lunette.

Categories: Places of historical value of artistic value

Via XXV Aprile, 2, 28015 Castelletto NO
Further pictures of Church of Santa Maria Assunta in the section Photography
Momo (Novara, Italy): Choir of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta
Momo (Novara, Italy): Nursing Virgin in the Church of Santa Maria Assunta