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Novara: Convent of San Nazzaro della Costa

Foto Convent of San Nazzaro della Costa
Foto Convent of San Nazzaro della Costa
Foto Convent of San Nazzaro della Costa
Foto Convent of San Nazzaro della Costa
Foto Convent of San Nazzaro della Costa
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Places  of historical value  of artistic value around Milan (Italy): Convent of San Nazzaro della CostaThe Convent of San Nazzaro della Costa can easily be confused with the almost eponymous Abbey of Saints Nazario and Celso, in fact almost of the same epoch and located less than 20 km away from it.

The site was already occupied by a church and a settlement of clerics since at least the first half of the twelfth century. The current version of the church, however, dates from the middle of the thirteenth century, a time when the Poor Clares of San Pietro di Cavaglio moved there. The little cloister (not shown on this page) was built at that time, when the church was still divided into three naves.
The nuns then left San Nazzaro in 1265 to move within the city walls to the San Domenico Monastery.

The present church, which is located on a hill near the main city cemetery and overlooks a small park, is built entirely in brick. The facade is very simple and devoid of any decoration.
Internally currently there is a single nave, with three deep chapels on each side (built in the mid-fifteenth century) and a presbytery and a very large choir.

Whereas the ceiling is absolutely gray and without any decoration, most part of the walls is decorated with splendid frescoes from various epochs.

  • Among the oldest, the great fresco of the deposition, recently restored (Figure 2), on what was originally the head of the right aisle and now instead of the wall of a small room to the right of the presbytery.

  • Interesting the fresco on the counterfacade immediately to the right upon entering, depicting a Madonna with Child enthroned and blessing a kneeling knight
  • A stupendous Annunciation in Renaissance style over the entrance of the second chapel on the right

  • The cycle of frescoes by Giotto school on the triumphal arch (Photo 3 and 6), including, in particular, on the top, an annunciation

  • The frescoes of two knights, of a later epoch, on the two bases of the same triumphal arch.

  • The frescoes of the presbytery (very recently restored). On the wall a beautiful crucifixion that recalls one of the main themes of Franciscan devotion with, at the feet of Christ, Mary Magdalene, St. John the Evangelist, St. Anthony of Padua and St. Bernardine of Siena. The latter holds the symbol, often represented within the church and the monastery, depicting the sun and the IHS monogram, Iesus hominum Salvator, Jesus Saviour of men. On the vault there are then the symbols of the four evangelists.

In 1626, Pope Urban VIII gave the convent to the Reformed Minor Friars who did not bring any major renovation or addiction. They remained there until 1810, the year of the Napoleonic suppression.
The entire complex, subject to degradation and continuous depredations (the church even turned into the barn!), was first given to private and then passed to the Main Hospital (Ospedale Maggiore) of Novara.

In 1923 the Novara City Council promoted the artistic recovery of the Church and Convent by stipulating, in '28, an agreement between the Ospedale Maggiore (the current owner of the property) and the Minor Capuchin Friars of the religious province of Alexandria. They entered officially in San Nazzaro in 1929 and still reside there.

Categories: Places of historical value of artistic value


Viale Curtatone, 46, Novara NO
Foto aggiuntive della Convento di San Nazzaro della Costa nella sezione Fotografia
Novara: Right wall of the church of the Convent of San Nazzaro della Costa
Novara: Fresco of the crucifixion
the church of the Convent of San Nazzaro della Costa
Novara: Ceiling of the presbytery of the church of the Convent of San Nazzaro della Costa
Novara: Ceiling of the apse of the church of the Convent of San Nazzaro della Costa