There are churches which rarely appear in magazines even though they are national monuments and their historical and Christian value is immeasurable. It is the case of Santa Maria in Martinico a hamlet of Dongo whose importance can be compared to the cloister of Piona Abbey or Santa Maria del Tiglio in Gravedona. The church is situated on the Old Via Regina in a secluded location. The name of the hamlet seems to be due to the old monastery dedicated to Saint Martha of which we only have little evidence.

The Romanic Church of Saint Mary in Martinico dates back to the eleventh century but the first document to report its name is dated 22nd February 1299. During the centuries the church underwent several transformations which meant the disappearance of some frescoes and altar pieces of great value. Despite the severe aspect of the facade adorned with bas-relief decorationswith fissure openings at the sides and internal which appears bare after long years of restorations the modern pilgrims will go back to the year one thousand and staying a little longer feel what the editor of the booklet “To discover Dongo” describes: “excitement and pleasure in front of this work which fascinates and helps to meet the true soul of the land through art”.


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