Friday, 11 May 2012 08:17

The Parish Church of San Silvestro at Fanano

Written by  matta
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The Romanesque parish church of San Silvestro sits in the middle of Fanano. Tradition attributes its foundation to Sant’Anselmo in 749, thanks to a concession of his cousin Astolfo, King of the Lombards. It was intended as a monastery and hospice for pilgrims traveling along the Via Romea, and was aconvenient stop in the Apennines between Tuscany and Emilia. With the church founded, Anselm decided to leave for Nonantola, where he built the celebrated Benedictine abbey. However the first documentation of the building is not until the 13th century.
Over the course of the centuries, the structure underwent several alterations, the most important of which was from the 17th century, when the original Romanesque appearance with crypt and raised presbytery was altered in order to change the liturgical orientation in favor of facing the façade to the west, where the surrounding town was growing.

The church is three-aisled, terminating in a Baroque choir. At the beginning of the 20th century, restorations aimed to return the church to its original Romanesque forms. The bases of the crypt columns were uncovered, today visible at the main entrance. During this restoration, the façade was redesigned in a neo-Romanesque style, but in a completely arbitrary manner. The twelve columns along the nave remain from the original Romanesque church. The capital decoration includes zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures, completed in a bare and basic style. The third capital on the right distinguishes itself for its original and fantastic ornamentation: four finely sculpted animal heads project from the angles and large serpents run around the abacus. The capital is dated 1206, probably when the church was consecrated. Some scholars have attributed these sculptures to masters of Campione, while others have suggested the influence of Antelami masters from Genoa.


Additional Info

  • Address: Via Abà, 9 41021 Fanano MO
  • Province:
  • Phone: +39 053668916
  • Opening Days and Time:

    lunedì – sabato 18.00 (orari messe)

    domenica: 11.00 e 18.00 (orari messe)

  • Guided Tour: Per visite guidate contattare l'associazione Rabisch (Tel: +39 338 6357868 - Si offrono visite per gruppi di studenti, adulti e disabili. Guide disponibili in lingue straniere.
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