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mail: Bill Thayer 
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Churches of L' Aquila


[image ALT: A fresco inside an ogival arch, on what appears to be a wall blocking it up. The fresco represents the Coronation of the Virgin: the lower part shows an empty rectangular tomb surrounded by eleven draped and haloed figures, standing or sitting, and above, a mandorla with Christ on our right, seated and crowning Mary, seated on our left. It is in the basilica of S. Maria di Collemaggio in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]

The Coronation of the Virgin: fresco in the Basilica of S. Maria di Collemaggio.


[image ALT: zzz. It is the façade of the church of S. Maria di Collemaggio in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
S. Maria di Collemaggio

[image ALT: zzz. It is the upper part of the façade of the Duomo of L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
Duomo

[image ALT: zzz. It is zzz of the church of Cristo Re in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
Cristo Re

[image ALT: zzz. It is the cupola of the church of S. Agostino in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
S. Agostino

[image ALT: zzz. It is a detail of a statue of St. Anthony and the Baby Jesus in a niche on the façade of the oratory of S. Antonio de Nardis in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
S. Antonio de Nardis

[image ALT: A large domed building, partly concealed by tall pines, against a backdrop of high mountains. It is a view of the church of S. Bernardino in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
S. Bernardino

[image ALT: zzz. It is the façade of the church of S. Francesco da Paola in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
S. Francesco da Paola

[image ALT: zzz. It is the face of Christ on a 15c crucifix in the church of S. Giusta in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
S. Giusta

[image ALT: zzz. It is the tympanum of the door of the church of S. Marco in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
S. Marco

[image ALT: zzz. It is the tympanum of the door of the church of S. Maria del Carmine in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
S. Maria del Carmine

[image ALT: zzz. It is zzz of the church of S. Maria del Suffragio in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
S. Maria del Suffragio

[image ALT: zzz. It is the façade of the church of S. Vito in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
S. Vito

[image ALT: Seen from a dozen meters above it, a small church with a belfry, a semi-attached house and their vegetable garden. It is a view of an unidentified church in L' Aquila, in the Abruzzo (central Italy).]
unidentified

A Wayside Shrine


[image ALT: zzz. It is a view of a wayside shrine to Virgin Mary in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
40, via Rocca di Corno

This sampler barely scratches the surface of the churches in L' Aquila: I didn't spend much time in town, and didn't see any of the surrounding territory of the comune; and those churches I did see in some detail, I've yet to put up proper webpages: a page of pretty pictures, despite what one sees out there, doesn't make a website, and this orientation page is therefore just a placeholder.


[ALT dell' immagine: An old photo of the church of S. Maria del Suffragio in L' Aquila; it serves as the icon for the republication on my site of the book by Luigi Serra on the city.]

[ 24 churches, 73 photos ]

If you read Italian, though, there's one good resource onsite: Aquila, a handsome book on the city published in 1929 by art historian Luigi Serra. It covers the whole city rather than just its churches; but these account for about half the text and a little over half the 141 photos.

Sadly, on April 6, 2009, even my own simple photos and Prof. Serra's became something of a historical document: at 3:31 A.M. on that day, L' Aquila was hit by a massive earthquake, centered just 5 km from downtown, that did serious damage to the churches you see here. Among the collapses, the choir of the Duomo (barely seen in the photo above), the attractive central lantern of S. Maria del Suffragio designed by Giuseppe Valadier (photo), the belfry of S. Bernardino (the squarish tower behind the dome to the right), the little baroque cupola of S. Agostino, part of S. Francesco da Paola (photo). The basilica of Collemaggio was somewhat damaged too, but apparently its beautiful façade and the historic tomb of Pope Celestine are intact. Rev. Ciro Benedettini, a Vatican spokesman, was quoted at the time as saying that damage was so severe "that at the moment, none of them can be used" by the faithful. The disaster is documented by this photoarchive of the towns hit by the earthquake.


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Site updated: 16 Feb 11