Convento dei Cappuccini
Italia - Calabria - CS - Belvedere Marittimo
Architectural and ecclesiastical heritage
The Convent of the Capuchin Friars is located at the foot of a rocky outcrop on which the town of Belvedere Marittimo is perched. The stone façade is devoid of decoration and has a portal surmounted by a lunette containing a mosaic. The pediment contains the city coat of arms, in white marble, depicting a rampant lion. The interior of the aisleless church is enriched by late Baroque wooden altars dedicated to the cult of the Franciscan Saints, referring especially to Saint Daniel Fasanella from Belvedere Marittimo. Along the right hand wall is the first chapel called the Porziuncola housing a wooden altar dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi. Pilaster strips with composite capitals decorated with plant motifs frame the 18th century painting depicting the Saint. He is portrayed kneeling at the feet of the Virgin and taking the Child Jesus in his arms. In the background, a choir of angels standing witness to the sacred event. The painting was stolen in 1993, but recovered a few years later. The altar also holds the relics of Saint Valentine, bishop of Terni. The adjacent chapel hosts a late Baroque triptych, decorated with spiral columns and rich vegetable ornaments, in which reliquary busts and the St Daniel statue are kept. On the opposite wall, there are three niches enriched with quite valuable decorative inlays, containing the statues of the Immaculate Conception, Saint Antony and Saint Francis. Just behind the main altar a splendid polyptych stands out. A canvas realized by Angelo Molinari in 1603 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary is in the central panel. The two side panels show Saint Francis and Saint Daniel. Above them are depicting the Saints Veronica and Claire. In the centre of the altar is located a tabernacle that is a copy of the stolen original inlaid work of wood and mother-of-pearl. Another important work is a 17th century wooden aedicula containing the image of Jesus crucified that is believed to have spoken to Blessed Angelus of Acri. The cloister has a four-sided portico with walls decorated with frescoes on Marian themes. The over door fresco shows the figure of Our Lady of Mercy kneeling at the feet of Blessing Christ; on the west wall you can see the figures of Our Lady of Guadalupe depicted with branches and astral bodies surrounding her, and of the Immaculate Conception which is the copy (or antecedent) of the painting located on the main altar. On the north wall of the cloister, characterised by rounded arches and a stone pavement, is a stone sundial. Finally, the convent houses several ancient books kept in the small library next to the cloister, located where once was the refectory.
Galleria fotografica

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