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Mandello del Lario (Lecco, Italy): Church of Saint Lawrence Martyr

Foto Church of Saint Lawrence Martyr
Foto Church of Saint Lawrence Martyr
Foto Church of Saint Lawrence Martyr
Foto Church of Saint Lawrence Martyr
Foto Church of Saint Lawrence Martyr
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Places  of historical value  of artistic value around Milan (Italy): Church of Saint Lawrence MartyrThe Archpriest Church of Saint Lawrence Martyr is the most important church in Mandello del Lario. It is located in the historic center of the village, just over fifty meters from the lake shore.

The origins of the church are at least early medieval, as it is already documented in the nineth century. The current building is due to the reconstruction of 1613, even if the bell tower is still that of the previous Romanesque church built around the eleventh / twelfth century.

The current church has a longitudinal plan with no transept, with a rectangular presbytery and four side chapels. To the church is connected also tThe chapel of Santa Marta, which is structurally equivalent to a small church.

The facade of the church is totally bare and devoid of any decoration. The only elements present are the entrance door, a semicircular window and the Romanesque bell tower that covers part of the left side. The two levels below the belfry of it host mullioned windows with a column equipped with a crutch capital.
The interior includes a single nave, equipped with a barrel vault with lunettes, with a rectangular window in each lunette. Two other half-moon-shaped windows are located on the back wall of the presbytery and, larger, in the counter-façade. The entire vault is frescoed with trompe l'oeil simulations of mixtilinear golden stucco frames connected by garlands and scrolls painted by Luigi Tagliaferri in 1916. Inside the simulated frames there are representations of episodes from the New Testament and angels and cherubs. Note one of the scenes on the left side, in which angels take cannons with hammers and picks.
On each side there are two chapels, of the same structure: not very deep and with a barrel vault, they have a marble altar. The retable, however, is not real, but only painted in trompe l'oeil style on the back wall.
On the left side there are the chapel of the Beheading of the Baptist and the chapel of the Holy Crucifix, on the right side the chapel of the Holy Trinity (Fig. 3) and the chapel of St. Joseph. Between the two chapels on the right there is a secondary entrance, above which there is a choir loft for the choir and the orchestra. Next to it is the seventeenth-century pulpit in carved and gilded wood. Between the chapels on the left side there is instead a choir loft with a seventeenth-century organ with a carved and gilded wooden chest.
The presbytery, rectangular in shape and separated from the nave by a sumptuous polychrome marble balustrade in which the usual columns are replaced with multiform elements such as cartouches and shells, is very deep and wide almost like the entire nave. It too has a barrel vault, decorated in the same way as that of the nave. In the center is the large baroque altar in carved and gilded wood decorated with a large number of statues of various sizes. The lower part of the walls is occupied by the choir stalls, created by Andrea Radaelli in 1691. The upper part is instead occupied by three large teleros, painted, like the one on the counter-façade, by Agostino Santagostino between 1684 and 1706. In them the Meeting between St. Lawrence and Pope Sixtus II, the Trial of St. Lawrence and the Martyrdom of St. Lawrence on the burning grill are depicted. They are surrounded by rich baroque stucco frames made by Giacomo Scotti at the end of the seventeenth century.
Above the entrance to the presbytery there is a beam on which a crucifix by Francesco Micheli from 1676 is placed.
From the left side you enter the chapel of Santa Marta, which is thought to have been a baptistery in medieval times. It actually constitutes a kind of church within the church. It consists of a quadrangular nave on which the polygonal apse with the main altar of the Virgin of the Rosary opens in front, on the left the baptistery and on the right the chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows, delimited by a black marble balustrade and in which there is an altar of black and orange marble with a retable of the same material. Through the chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows you enter the chapel of the Virgin of Lourdes, containing a small reproduction of the famous grotto.
At the beginning of the passage that leads from the nave to the chapel of Santa Marta there is an ancient fresco of Our Lady of Sorrows, repainted several times, inside a carved and painted wooden display case.

In front of the church is the ancient Chapel of the Dead, structurally independent from the church and with an octagonal plan.

Together with the church, the Benedictine abbey complex can still be recognized, which already existed in 833 AD and of which only the cloister remains.

Associated with the church is furthermore the San Lorenzo Museum of Sacred Art, located in the former House of the Disciplini of Santa Marta, which was probably established at the beginning of the fourteenth century and of which a fresco painted between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is preserved.
Inside it preserves liturgical furnishings and vestments of undoubted artistic interest that refer to the devotional and processional customs of Mandello.

Categories: Places of historical value of artistic value

Piazza Giovanni XXIII, 8, 23826 Mandello del Lario LC
Further pictures of Chiesa di San Lorenzo Martire in the section Photography
Mandello del Lario (Lecco, Italy): Fresco of Our Lady of Sorrow in the Church of Saint Lawrence Martyr
Mandello del Lario (Lecco, Italy): Presbytery of the Church of Saint Lawrence Martyr