The ten must see churches of Calabria

Italy is a Catholic country full of faith, churches, basilicas and cathedrals. Some of these real gems are in Calabria. Today we will know the most beautiful churches in Calabria.

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Introduction

Italy is a country full of religious buildings: from north to south there are countless churches and all of them are truly beautiful! Today we will know the most beautiful churches in Calabria. Ready? Let’s go! So, let’s do it! Here at Your Travel to Calabria you make the trip of your dreams!!! Are you staying in Calabria? Looking for a hotel? Click here and discover best accommodation options in Calabria!

A Little more about the Calabria

Much of the cultural production has been heavily influenced by Greco-Byzantine architecture and art plans. From the ninth to the eleventh centuries, monks and hermits from the East, in disagreement with the Byzantine church, found refuge in the mountains of Calabria through the construction of monasteries and churches. Read also What Are The Best Wineries In Calabria?

Calabria has become, consequently, land of destiny of religious and ascetic of the Mediterranean. From the early Greek rite monks, took shelter underground churches, small and fascinating Byzantine monasteries, to the majestic Norman churches. And we must not forget the Anjou people and their Renaissance cathedrals, convents of small monastic orders hidden in the tops of Serre and Sila. This text, in fact, is trying to elaborate a guide for the most interesting and beautiful abbeys, besides the churches, of Calabria. Read also Let’s Know The Most Beautiful Villages In Calabria?

1) The ten must see churches of Calabria: SANTA MARIA DI PIEDIGROTTA

We started the tour with Santa Maria di Piedigrotta, in Pizzo Calabro, completely excavated in limestone in the 17th century; this church is located on the beach, on the northern border of the city. Tradition tells that some Neapolitan fishermen, who survived the shipwreck in that place, built this small church dedicated in devotion to Our Lady. It is characterized by a series of caves excavated in the limestone rock, with light and dark statues, giving a mystical atmosphere, charming and really exciting, a place that deserves to be visited.

The ten must see churches of Calabria
Santa Maria di Piedigrotta

2) The ten must see churches of Calabria: CHURCH OF SANTA DI CAPOCOLONNA

How to miss a visit to the Church of Santa Maria di Capocolonna? The nave was built in 1700 with the intention of establishing a place of worship dedicated to Our Lady, coming from Crotone, Greece, on the promontory where it was the temple of Hera Lacinia, in the times of ancient Greece; remained only a column in the Doric style.

A Little more about the church…

The church was built around an image of Our Lady, according to tradition, and was brought to Crotone from Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, the first Bishop of Crotone. On the afternoon of 21st May, the image of Santa Maria di Capocolonna is accompanied by a procession by the sea, departing from the port of Crotone. Here she is received by the faithful and by all the authorities in a spectacular symphony of fireworks, and then continues to the Cathedral’s Basilica where she stays. It is an intense emotion also provided by the Sanctuary.

3) The ten must see churches of Calabria: CATHEDRAL OF THE ASSUMPTION OF GERACE

Another must see is the Cathedral of the Assumption of Gerace. This church was consecrated in 1045 and re-consecrated in the presence of Frederick II of Swabia in 1222; it is the largest church in Calabria. It has three naves with thirteen columns each, perhaps, of the temples of Locri. The high altar is baroque. Externally it looks more like a fortress than a religious building, but its grandeur makes it the most representative Byzantine-Romanesque-Norman Calabrian monument. It is the most impressive testimony of the Norman occupation in Calabria, as well as the pride of the city of Gerace, a place that deserves to be discovered for its historical beauty but also for its artistic meaning.

The ten must see churches of Calabria
Cathedral of the Assumption of Gerace

4) The ten must see churches of Calabria: SANTA MARIA DEL PATIRE

Another church that worth visiting is Santa Maria del Patire, in Rossano Calabro, built in the 12th century AD, 600 meters above sea level, in the mountains of Sila Greca. The Pathirion Rossano is an ancient basilica monastery built thanks to the provision of the Norman princes and was dedicated to Santa Maria Odigitria.

A Little more about the church…

The church remained until now known as Santa Maria del Pathire or simply Pathire of Rossano, whose name derives from the Greek word Pater (Father), a sign of devotion to its founding father, St. Bartholomew of Simeri. Thanks to donations and privileges granted by the Normans, Pathirion immediately became one of the richest and most important basilian monasteries in southern Italy. It has a 15th-century gothic portal and inside a mosaic floor, Byzantine and Islamic; as well as arches decorated with star motifs and surrounded by various colors.

The ten must see churches of Calabria
Santa Maria del Patire

5) The ten must see churches of Calabria: SANTA MARIA DELLA CONSOLAZIONE

One of the most interesting churches of the fourteenth century, built in the village of Altomonte in the middle of the time of Anjou, is the church of Santa Maria della Consolazione, representing the greatest Gothic example of Anjou’s sacred architecture present in Calabria.

A Little more about the church…

The church was built on the ruins of the old Norman church of Santa Maria dei Franchi, the latter founded around the year 1052. Born of the desire of Count Filippo Sangineto of Altomonte and Corigliano, and Baron of Sangineto, the church of Santa Maria della Consolazione overlooks the main Square of the city of Altomonte. The building is situated overlooking the Altomonte valley with typical positions of defense facilities as it was originally built as the count’s house. In 1444 the building began to take the typical form of a convent. It quickly became a center of spirituality; the monastery was home to a well-stocked library, which played an important role in the Dominican Reformation in Calabria.

The ten must see churches of Calabria
Santa Maria della Consolazione

6) The ten must see churches of Calabria: CERTOSA DI SERRA SAN BRUNO

Then we arrive at another excellence that is the Certosa di Serra San Bruno (also known as Certosa dei Santi Stefano and Bruno); is an abbey meticulously located near the city. The first houses were built only to accommodate the people who worked for the monks of the monastery of Santo Stefano and the hermitage of Santa Maria, at the behest of the founder Saint Bruno, who had acquired the land for its foundations from Count Norman Roger of Altavila; the monastic is in the center of Serre Vibonesi, almost at the same distance between the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas, the Serra di San Bruno, due to its geographical location, is one of the most beautiful and picturesque scenes of Calabria. Until the end of the eleventh century its territory was formed by impenetrable forests and pastures.

A Little more about the church…

From the 16th century, Certosa became one of the most expressive arts and crafts centers in Calabria. The presence of Certosa greatly influenced the development of the country’s architecture and was well known for the presence of artisans, wood artists, blacksmiths and painters. Around it were formed masons, painters, sculptors and marble workers whose fame soon spread even out of the region. With the earthquake of 1783, Certosa suffered much damage and was rebuilt in 1900 with forms that echo the French Gothic style. From the old religious complex, today, the walls keep the cylindrical towers and the facade of the old church.

The ten must see churches of Calabria
Certosa di Serra San Bruno

7) The ten must see churches of Calabria: FLORENCE ABBEY

Among the main religious buildings in Calabria for the grandeur of the whole complex, is the magnificent Florence Abbey, which appears with its austere style in the historical center of San Giovanni di Fiori, a town in Sila, rich in art and history.

A Little more about the church…

Together with the adjacent monastery, the abbey was built between 1189 and 1198 by the will of the abbot Joachim di Fiore, who arrived in these places in search of a new source of spirituality to found the first Florence order. The church founded by Joachim di Fiore, in 1185, was modified over time and continues to be a witness to the ancient splendor; it still has the portal and the crypt, with the remains of the saint, the 17th century wooden choir and the three stone portals with the font. Cistercian order is a church in the form of a Latin cross, with a single nave. Despite the many changes accomplished over the centuries, the complex maintains the severe austerity of the Romanesque style, and some stylistic features that make it the best example of the Florence architecture in Italy.

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8) The ten must see churches of Calabria: BASILICA OF SANTA MARIA IN ROCELLA

The Basilica of Santa Maria in Roccella. Next to the federal highway 106 Ionic, at the entrance of the Archaeological Park of Scolacium, surrounded by olive trees, stands the imposing ruins of the Norman basilica dedicated to Santa Maria in Roccella. Built by the Normans at the end of the 11th century and in the first half of the 12th century, on the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Scolacium, built in the Greek city of Skylletion, where the Romanesque style is mixed with Byzantine and Arab influences.

A Little more about the church…

The basilica was among the largest built by the Normans in Calabria in their efforts to Latinize the worship of Christ in southern Italy. The building was erected by the will of the Court Norman of Palermo, who wanted a monastic community in this place. This structure is immediately recognizable by visitors for its characteristics and shapes with its structure dominating the broadest part of the plain within the park.

The ten must see churches of Calabria
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Roccella

9) The ten must see churches of Calabria: SAN BERNARDINO CHURCH OF SIENA

Another must see church is the San Bernardino Church of Siena, in Morano Calabro, in the heart of the Pollino National Park; is a monastic architecture jewel, of 400, in late Gothic style. Item to appreciate is the wooden ceiling in the nave, unique in Calabria, and Bartolomeo Vivarini’s Polyptych, from 1477, which shines on the altar.

A Little more about the church…

Built by the will of Prince Sanseverino and consecrated by Pierantonio after more than thirty years of work, in April 1485, the church, which occupies the right side of the architectural complex, shows at its entrance a porch supported by five arches around, where in the background there are vestiges of old frescoes of century XVII. The access to the church is through a large portal of warhead, while a second portal, smaller and with reduced arch, leads to the cloister of the adjacent monastery. The interior, sober as the exterior, has a nave and, thanks to the high and bare walls, is characterized as ‘mystical and severe Franciscan environment’, by the use of materials visible, in particular, by its stones.

The ten must see churches of Calabria
San Bernardino Church of Siena

10) The ten must see churches of Calabria: STILO CATHOLIC

Last but not least we will visit one of the smallest, but spectacular, churches of Calabria, the Byzantine monastery of Stilo Catholic, which is the best example of the Byzantine Sacred architecture in the region.

A Little more about the church…

The restoration of this architectural jewel was made by Paolo Orsi, Superintendent of Antiquities of Calabria, who noticed it in 1911 and made it go through a long restoration that lasted until 1927. In the 50 years of the last century, of the base of the pediment and in the five domes of the small Byzantine monastery, ordered by the then superintendent Gisberto Martelli. This church is a Calabrian treasure visited annually by thousands of Italian and foreign tourists.

The ten must see churches of Calabria
Stilo Catholic


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Conclusion

The ten must see churches of Calabria. Calabria is a region with a thousand ‘whys’ and is able to offer visitors more than a thousand facets and a thousand contradictions that fully represent the characteristics of this territory made by so many problems, but with such beauty and authenticity.

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