Oratorio della Croce (Oratory of the Cross)

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The Oratory is slightly hidden, caught between old and tall buildings.

The beautiful and simple ashlar stone facade has a distinctive portal topped by an arch. In the nineteenth century, the portal still had a legible inscription, which has now completely disappeared, from which one could infer the date 1224, presumably referring to the foundation of the Oratory. On the facade, until the early twentieth century, was also visible the Peruzzi crest, who commissioned the building. In the Charter of the Captains of the Guelph (XVI century) the sacred building is referred to as the “Chiesa (Church) de la Crocie”. Over the centuries it was also dedicated to “Tutti i Santi” (All Saints) and “Sant’Antonio Abate”. The Oratory was seriously damaged by the 1895 earthquake and the restoration work recovered the remains of frescoes referable to the fifteenth century. The shaped wooden cross was also removed due to the earthquake, which both the oratory and the village called it. The cross was moved to the parish of Santo Stefano a Paterno, where it remains today. In 1983 work carried out by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure restoration school has unearthed the ancient structures of the building. On this occasion (in 1984) the old altar was replaced with one that was found in the sacristy of the church of Santo Stefano a Paterno. The altar, dating from the thirteenth century, consists of a table supported by two columns whose capitals present four human heads on one and three lion heads on the other.

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