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San Giovanni Evangelista a Montecontieri Asciano


San Giovanni Evangelista a Montecontieri

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San Giovanni Evangelista a Montecontieri
Loc. Palazzo Venturi 53041 Asciano

Business card (vCard)

The church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Montecontieri probably finds its origins in the Longobard period (9th-10th century AD), even if the first official trace of the church is in Papal Bull by Pope Alexander III directed on April 22nd 1178 at Rodolfo Pievano from Asciano.

Its original shape was very different from the current one, with a larger plant entirely made of travertine blocks, probably similar to the church of S.Agata in Asciano.

From 1178 it is necessary to arrive at 1476 for further information about the church of San Giovanni, when the Bull of Sixtus IV on 22 September 1476, sanctions the union of the two existing churches in the territory of Montecontieri: the Parish of St. John the Evangelist and the Priory of St. Thomas.

The territory already belonging to the Church of San Tommaso was joined to that of Montecontieri, following the disappearance of the aforementioned, the title of Prior of San Tommaso was assumed by the parish priests of S. Giovanni, who continued to preserve it over the centuries.

In 1584 the church and the rest of the priory were rebuilt "ex novo" assuming the current form, by the parish priest Ottavio Preziani, Canonico del Duomo of Siena, reusing the stones of the old church that probably between the end of 1400 and the early 1500s had gone to ruin. It is in fact possible to notice the travertine blocks of square shape in the walls of the building, together with those of the church.

On the western side there is also a block of travertine with carved on top a stylized shape of two intertwining oval rings, typical image of the Lombard period. Some stones have work and grooves as they are part of the original church decorations.

The church has maintained the sixteenth-century structure until the early 1900s when, by the work of Monsignor Bruno Torpigliani, the roof was redone, changing its shape to a single sloping gable, raising the facade of the church and replacing the stucco altar and bricks with the current travertine.

The parish has always counted about a hundred faithful until about the second half of the 1900s, noted down over the centuries in their registers, until the Tuscan countryside began to be depopulated in favor of increasing urbanization.

The church and the priory are now private property and all the original works of art once contained in the church are kept in the museum of the nearby Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore.




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