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Pieve S. Maria di Valfabbrica

[image ALT: A three-quarters view of a single-story building about 18 meters long, of irregular courses of small stone masonry, the short end of which has a tall door and a small circular window in a sort of pediment, and the long side of which has 5 windows of differing shapes, irregularly set. It is a view of the church of Pieve S. Maria in Valfabbrica, Umbria (central Italy).]

This is all that remains of a once important abbey, said to have been founded in the 9c. Almost all its outbuildings have been dismantled; the church in its present state dates to the 13c, and even of it, not all has survived: the small informational panel you see at the far left states that the original apse is gone; it probably had a shell-shaped choir and maybe two further apsidal chapels, but now just a flat wall marked by that little bell-tower in the back.

[image ALT: A building of not completely regular courses of small stone masonry, seen end-on: a roughly rectangular façade, though extended at the top into a triangle, the whole about 6 meters tall and 4 to 5 meters wide. It has a narrow arched doorway, and rather far above it, a small circular window. It is a view of the façade of the church of Pieve S. Maria in Valfabbrica, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1 page, 4 photos ]

The exterior is unremarkable in its plainness, but not unattractive; a few more pictures are in order, one of which presents a (very small) mystery.

[image ALT: A rectangular hall about 15 meters long, leading to a small, plain modern altar. Two windows light the room; the side walls are plastered, with here and there some fragments of older paintings. It is a general view of the interior of the church of Pieve S. Maria in Valfabbrica, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 4 pages, 14 photos ]

The interior of Pieve S. Maria, on the other hand, despite its fragmentary condition, is well worth wrestling with the key to the entrance door: amidst all the 'usual' medieval frescoes — remember, this is Umbria — two are particularly beautiful. One of them may be a Cimabue.

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Site updated: 30 Jul 04