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Fagnano Olona (Varese, Italy): Church of San Gaudenzio

Foto Church of San Gaudenzio
Foto Church of San Gaudenzio
Foto Church of San Gaudenzio
Foto Church of San Gaudenzio
Foto Church of San Gaudenzio
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Places  of historical value  of artistic value around Milan (Italy): Church of San GaudenzioThe Church of San Gaudenzio was built in the mid-eighteenth century and is characterized by richly decorated interiors and by the large pronaos added in 1824 in front of the facade.

HISTORY
The current church was built, based on a project by the architect Dionigi Maria Ferrari, to replace the previous one, dating back to 1500. The works began in 1743 and were already finished in 1748.
The bell tower was built between 1786 and 1788.
The large pronaos supported by 10 columns was added only later, in 1824, when the church had already been completed for some time.
The internal decoration of the church was carried out partly in the second half of the nineteenth century and partly in the first half of the twentieth century.
In 1945 the organ was installed in the choir.
In 1947 the baptistery was completed and decorated.
In 1958 the statue of the immaculate virgin was crowned with a precious silver and gold crown.
Finally, in 1960, the altar dedicated to Santa Teresa del Bambin Gesù was built and the statues of Sant'Ambrogio and San Carlo were installed in the two niches on the façade.

STRUCTURE
The church is in exposed brick. The façade, with two orders, is dominated by the enormous pronaos which practically hides the rest, unless you place yourself at a certain distance. The pronaos is supported by ten smooth columns with Ionic capital. At the center of the great tympanum there is a representation of San Gaudenzio.
There are three entrances, with the main one in the center much larger than the side ones.
The upper order sees in the center the presence of a large rectangular window with two niches on the sides occupied by large statues of St. Ambrose and St. Charles in white marble.

The interior of the church includes a single high nave with a barrel vault with lunettes. In correspondence with the lunettes there are rectangular windows. Due to their position, the church is rather dark, despite the presence of another window on the facade, two in the choir and two larger ovals in the arms of the transept.
The church is in fact equipped with a transept, even if only slightly protruding. The roof is separated from the vertical walls by a thick entablature richly decorated with stucco that runs along the entire perimeter of the church, including the counter-façade and the choir.
The entire interior of the church is richly decorated with stuccoes and frescoes. The vault was decorated at the end of the nineteenth century with stucco decorations that emphasize the lines of the structure and frescoes within stucco frames of various shapes depicting four doctors of the Church (above the windows of the nave), allegories of charity, faith and hope, as well as various saints.
The entablature, the access arches to the side chapels, the pilasters placed between the chapels are abundantly decorated with stuccoes depicting cherubs, festoons and garlands. In particular, on the arch of access to the transept at the apex there is a crucifix flanked by two angels, while above each entrance arch of the chapels there are two angels.
All the windows have a stucco frame and are accompanied by two cherubs.
The back walls of the two arms of the transept are decorated with two large recent frescoes depicting the Supper of the Apostles (right) and the Regality of Christ on the left. Both were painted by Arturo Galli in 1945.
In the middle of each side of the nave there are two niches with the statues of St. Joseph and St. Anthony the Abbot inside.
Also worthy of mention is the Via Crucis, comprising beautiful painted bas-relief scenes inserted in the stucco decorations of the walls.

The church has two side chapels on each side, plus the baptistery, immediately left as you enter, and the small chapel of Santa Teresa del Bambin Gesù, in front of it. The chapels all have the same structure: shallow, flat bottom wall, barrel vault and marble balustrade. All have an altar and a retable in polychrome marble.
On the left side you have, starting from the entrance:

  • Baptistery: It was completed in 1947.

  • Chapel of the Most Holy Crucifix: It was inaugurated in 1809. Altar and retable are in black and red marble. In the elliptical pediment, two cherubs hold the Veronica.

  • Chapel of San Gaudenzio: It houses a statue of the saint in the center of the retable, in a large niche.

  • On the right we have instead:
  • Small chapel of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus: Inaugurated in 1960.

  • Chapel of St. Joseph: The baroque pediment, on which two putti sit, contains a plaque with the dedication to St. Joseph patron of the dying surrounded by cherub heads. In place of an altarpiece, the retable houses a painted bas-relief depicting St. Joseph on his deathbed.

  • Chapel of the Blessed Immaculate Virgin: It houses a valuable wooden statue of the Virgin.

The presbytery is placed in an advanced position, occupying part of the intersection of the transept. The main altar is therefore located approximately under the dome of the cross decorated with a Glory of San Gaudenzio. The pendentives of the dome are occupied by the four evangelists, accompanied by numerous angels.
The apsidal basin of the choir is instead occupied by a Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ inside a large gilded stucco frame with a mixtilinear shape. All these decorations were made at the end of the nineteenth century by Luigi Tagliaferri in a very fragrant neo-baroque style.
The main altar is from 1777 and is not of solid marble but covered with marble.
At the bottom of the choir there is the organ, put in place in 1944 and of particular value.

Categories: Places of historical value of artistic value


Piazza S. Gaudenzio, 14, 21054 Fagnano Olona VA
Further pictures of Church of San Gaudenzio in the section Photography
Fagnano Olona (Varese, Italy): Interior of the dome of the crossing of the Church of San Gaudenzio
Fagnano Olona (Varese, Italy): Ceiling of the crossing of the Church of San Gaudenzio
Fagnano Olona (Varese, Italy): Interior of the Church of San Gaudenzio
Fagnano Olona (Varese, Italy): Vault of the apse and of the crossing of the Church of San Gaudenzio
Fagnano Olona (Varese, Italy): Chapel of the Blessed Immaculate Virgin in the Church of San Gaudenzio