Spoleto Church

Spoleto, Church of San Salvatore, 8th century AD

The church of San Salvatore is Spoleto’s principal ancient monument. Probably originally a funerary church, it was initially dedicated to the martyrs Concordio and Senzia, who were buried nearby and to whom miraculous powers were attributed.

A Benedictine document of 815 refers to the church as being dedicated to San Salvatore, a change probably brought about by the intervention of the Lombard dukes.

Of the original sumptuous decoration of the facade, which was cadenced by pilasters and divided by a cornice into two registers, the doorways and three windows on the upper register remain.

The building contains a nave and two side aisles, with a tripartite presbytery of which the central part is covered by a vaulted structure with an octagonal base (which was modified in post-Renaissance times).

Of the interior decoration, a number of stuccoes and portions of the wall paintings in the apse survive. In the latter, at the base of the central niche a cross with gems is portrayed, from the arms of which hang chains bearing A and Ω, very similar to those depicted in the Tempietto sul Clitunno.

The church contains a considerable number of re-used older components, such as columns, bases, capitals and cornices; several of these have been reworked, such as the architectural reliefs on the facade, the cornice in the presbytery, the blocks on which the canopy stands, the left windowsill and the architrave of the main doorway.

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