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The Church of S. Maria Assunta
at Otricoli

[image ALT: A large hall-like space, two stories tall, the walls built of brick laid in alternating decorative courses and pierced by two wide arched bays on either side. In the background, over a door, an elaborate wooden balcony with a projecting semicircular central portion and a tall pedimented temple-like structure applied to the wall behind it. It is the interior of the church of S. Maria Assunta in Otricoli, Umbria (central Italy).]

In this view from the altar toward the entrance door, the Renaissance choir loft,
with its reminder canite Domino — "Sing to the Lord!" — dominates the church.

That handsome choir loft, with its elegant Corinthian columns, its broken pediment and its faux-marbre (see this somewhat closer view) is just one of a dozen more recent embellishments to what is a very old church; 13c Romanesque fabric, a Gothic ceiling — and a much, much older substructure, as one might expect in a town as firmly built of ancient Roman stone as Otricoli.

[image ALT: missingALT. It is a detail of the church of S. Maria Assunta in Otricoli, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1 page, 5 photos ]

The crypt houses the bones of fifty-eight saints, moved here in the 17c. One of them is official, the other fifty-seven are on approval.

[image ALT: missingALT. It is a detail of a painting of the martyrdom of St. Victor in the church of S. Maria Assunta in Otricoli, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1 page, 10 photos ]

The upper church has its paintings and old stone. I visited in the early 21st century, and Mariano Guardabassi visited in the late 19th: our accounts couldn't be more different.

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Page updated: 4 Apr 08