The Church of Saint Margaret
Ancient Oratory at the top of Santa Margherita Mount on the border between Torre de ‘Busi and Monte Marenzo from the 13th century.
The spectacular panorama that can be admired along this slope shows the Adda Valley which opens in the lakes of Garlate and Olginate, until you can see the mountain range that encloses the Lecco basin in the distance. Among the others are the jagged peaks of Mount Resegone, the Canzo Horns and the slopes of Mount Barro. To the north, at the bottom of the valley, you can see the end of the Lecco branch of Lake Como.
Following the main road that runs through Monte Marenzo and following the signs of the Church of Santa Margherita, you reach the hamlet of Portola from which an easy dirt path starts, which leads to the summit of Santa Margherita Mount and the archaeological area of a ‘important “Castrum.
The oratory of Santa Margherita contains a repertoire of paintings that some scholars have reported as of exceptional interest, defining the cycle of frescoes representing scenes of life of Santa Margherita as among the most valuable of the fourteenth century Lombard. This cycle is considered a “unique” in Lombardy and has already become the object of study for qualified specialists in Gothic art. The frescoes of the apse and of the left wall are also very interesting; the latter, from the fifteenth century, seem to overlap with previous paintings.
Near the church there are remains of fortifications dating back to the eleventh century. Archaeological excavations carried out between 1998 and 2000 have brought to light the walls (120 meters long) of a “castle” of the extension of about 950 square meters. In particular, the archaeological analyzes carried out on the area affected by the excavation conducted showed a series of wall structures pertinent to different phases of life of the “castle”: a central tower, a curtain building to the south-east of the tower and another compartment of dubious function located further south.
On the spot, fireplaces, bones, some fragments of soapstone, glasses of chalices, an iron knife blade, nails and two coins dating back to the Holy Roman Empire in silver, minted in the Milan mint in the second were found. half of the twelfth century.
The archaeological excavation has therefore confirmed the strategic importance of the place, bringing to light a “castle” of a high-medieval foundation probably identifiable with the Castrum de Cantagudo present in medieval documentation from the first half of the twelfth century up to the middle of the fifteenth century.
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