The original name of this church was Santa Maria in Castello due to it’s close proximity to the Castle of the Rocca, and was commissioned by Pope Innocent III in the early 13th century in relation to his recovery of different territories that were not permanently controlled by the church.
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CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DELLA NEVE
The original name of this church was Santa Maria in Castello due to it’s close proximity to the Castle of the Rocca, and was commissioned by Pope Innocent III in the early 13th century in relation to his recovery of different territories that were not permanently controlled by the church. The building was originally composed of three naves divided by six columns, which supported the arches and the roof made from wooden beams and bricks. The only entrances were two doors; one right in front of the main altar and a slightly smaller one on the right wall. The church was lit through the single window located on the main door. After years of dilapidation, the church had to be drastically renovated and scaled in 1867.
The only evidence of the old architecture lies in the two apses on the left wall that originally flanked the main altar. The first apse, preserving part of the Byzantine fresco, represents the style that preceded the revolution of Giotto, dating from the mid-thirteenth century. The subjects represented here are the Madonna with Child, Saint Francis, Saint Anthony Abbot, Saint Flaviano, who is the patron saint of Montefiascone, and S. Augustine, who were the founders of religious orders in Montefiascone. The presence of Saint Francis and Saint Anthony represent the two forms of monastic life: the hermit and the coenobitic. At the foot of the Madonna is a small painting of a prayerful pose. There is a statue of the Madonna with the Child on the altar, and to the left is a door to the sacristy.
Church of Santa Maria della Neve.
Translation by Isabella Lazzareschi, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, enrolled in the USAC Viterbo program.
G. Breccola – M. Mari, Montefiascone, Grotte di Castro 1979.
C. Sensi, Montefiascone medievale. Gli edifici del centro storico, tesi di laurea, Università degli Studi della Tuscia di Viterbo, A.A. 1996-1997.
G. Breccola, Altre emergenze in Montefiascone. Emozioni storie e colori, vol. II, Viterbo 2000, pp. 111-116.
G. Breccola, Montefiascone. Guida alla scoperta, Montefiascone 2006.