From parish church to a place of worship, the story of a consecrated church.
What was a parish church? It was a religious and social institution with the privilege of having a baptismal font, supervising funerals and the right to feudal tithes. The Church in Spormaggiore began as a parish church. It was first mentioned by a parish priest in Spormaggiore as far back as 1288 and refer to a certain Nicholas who in 1295 paid the papal tithes. So a church must have existed in that period.
Facing east, it was built for the Sporo parish population, along with the Romanesque bell tower that already existed before 1300 and was dedicated to St Vigilio who is portrayed in the traces of ancient frescoes which adorn the interior. The Bell Tower is the oldest part of the structure.
The Church has a rectangular layout with a steep gabled roof and has no apse; it was demolished in 1868 to make way for the new parish church. Before the entrance is a Renaissance style rectangular atrium while the main entrance, dating from 1686, is pointed with relief patterns.
Inside there is a single nave with three bays and network-vaults, supported by columns leaning against the walls. The presbytery is separated by two Gothic arches, one of which has the head of the God Hanno carved into a keystone.
On the left wall, at the third bay, there is a door that connects the Church of St Vigilio with the Chapel of Our Lady where the old and the new parts of the church intersect. The Chapel, which has a square layout, was built by the Spaur family in 1719 in honour of a wooden sculpture of the Madonna and Child. This sculpture was believed to be miraculous for stillborn children. In fact these children were carried in front of it in the hope of some sign of life so that they could be baptised and buried in the cemetery.
An interesting fact
In 1909 the Preservation of Monuments Board accepted the proposal to make the Church a place of worship again, giving instructions for the restoration. The work was carried out in 1913 by the architect Mario Sandon and the Church was blessed on the 26th December of the same year.
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