Church of Santa Maria
in Martinico

The Church of Santa Maria in Martinico standing in Dongo

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Church of Santa Maria in Martinico

The Church of Santa Maria in Martinico standing in Dongo is certainly one of the unmissable Romanesque churches of the whole area.

Among the Romanesque churches of the place it is an unmissable destination. The oldest part of Dongo is the hamlet of Martinique. Here stands the Romanesque church of Santa Maria. It was built between the end of the 11th century and the 12th century. The existence of a church dedicated to Santa Maria is documented from the 12th century. The wall structures date back to this Romanesque phase, consisting of square stone blocks, the saw-toothed frame, and the carved elements of the portal on the side.


The church has a single nave with a semicircular apse. On the north side there is a beautiful Romanesque portal from the 12th century. Here the architrave is supported by columns with capitals surmounted by bas-reliefs in the shape of human heads. The bell tower, rebuilt during the restoration work, is slightly isolated from the church. It is characterized by a decoration of small arches in groups of four and by mullioned openings in the belfry.

The interior

Inside the Church of Santa Maria of Martinico you can admire fifteenth-century frescoes and a gilded silver cross made by the goldsmith Francesco Ser Gregori in 1513. The fresco on the right wall of the nave can be dated between 1310 and 1315. It depicts the Madonna della Misericordia and six angels holding her mantle. Other frescoes and fragments of fifteenth-century frescoes are visible under the roof. Along the walls, you can see some fragments of fresco with a Last Supper, the figure of a Holy Bishop enthroned and another figure of Saint that let presume the presence of a wider decoration dating back to the XIV century.

Instead, the portions of the fresco detached from the apse and positioned within panels hanging above the confessional belong to a seventeenth-century phase. The scenes depict the Birth of Christ, the Presentation at the Temple and the Dispute with the Doctors and are attributed to Giovan Mauro Della Rovere known as Fiammenghino. Other seventeenth-century frescoes, including two figures of saints and two panels with angels, are hung along the nave. On the side of the altar, above a stone pedestal, there is a wooden statue of the Assumption which dates back to 1690.

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