Church of San Giuliano

Church of San Giuliano

The Church of San Giuliano of Faleria

The Church of San Giuliano of Faleria, formerly known as “of the Collegiata”, presents typical Romanesque architecture and is therefore likely to be dated to the 13th century.

The restauration works carried out in 1975 have brought the ceiling of the central nave back to its original features, unveiling the typical Romanesque-style trusses. The church presents a three-aisled structure: the central and wider one leads up to the apse which encloses a wooden choir, restored in 1991, and positioned so as to surround the high altar. More recent restoration works have concerned the flooring, now in earthenware tiles, and the colonnade.

In this church, the Anguillara family’s coat of arms appears in several different points, for instance upon the sides of the high altar or in the very middle of the frescoes depicting Saint John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.

Chiesa di San Giuliano con campanile
Campanile della Chiesa di San Giuliano
Chiesa di San Giuliano dal castello
Facciata della chiesa di San Giuliano

The evolution of the structure

All that is left of the original 12th century edifice, are the perimeter walls, visible on the outside, still bearing the marble tessera decoration dating back to the Roman age.

The church also conserves the original 13th century flooring in Cosmatesque style, with its marble inlay outlining geometrical patterns, of which today all that remains is a rosette.

During the 14th century, the structure underwent a series of renovations, which provided the church with the apse vault positioned in the sacristy, and raised the flooring around the high altar so as to insert a crypt right beneath it, within the underground spaces of the edifice.

 

The great changes of the 16th century

Throughout the 16th century the structure endured a series of metamorphosis, at the wishes of Count Everso Anguillara, who is therefore responsible for the alteration of what was then the fundamental architectural order of the church. All the windows along the walls were walled up, and four additional altars were built.

Special mention must be made of the Chapel dedicated to Saint John the Baptist: it is a structure of gentle architectural lines, sustained by precious marble columns and capitals, which were built by the finest marble-workers, masters in technical skills.

Dating back to this same period are also the portals in travertine marble, perfectly integrated into the church’s façade.

The Romanesque bell tower was probably built in the year 1504. The lower section of the structure presents two orders of closed mullioned windows, whereas, on the level straight above, there are three orders, and these are open and sustained by small columns. The bells are at present still functional.

 

The altar of San Giuliano

The construction of the other interior chapels and of the aisles’ vaults, some of which covered by decorative plaster, dates back to the 17th century.

In 1610, on the initiative of the Holy Sacrament Brotherhood, the high altar dedicated to San Giuliano, was renovated by placing a new painting, which represented the saint standing at the feet of the Virgin Mary, and was adorned by a great frame, stuccoed with angelic figures. This is the most revered altar by the people of Faleria.

Restauration works carried out in 2006, have unveiled an important fresco painting laying beneath the seventeenth-century painting.

The leading figure of the fresco is San Giuliano, recognisable by the presence of his distinctive symbols: the dog on the right, the hawk on his left forearm, and the sword. Then, in the background, the landscape of a 15th century town of Faleria, stretching into the distance (from which the hypothesized date of execution).

Different elements of the town are clearly distinguishable: the tuff rock spur upon which rests the medieval hamlet, the Church of San Giuliano, and the Castle of the Anguillara family. Further ahead, behind the town and amidst the woods and countryside, stands another castle, which has been identified as the Paterno Castle.

The fresco is likely to be the result of a collaboration between different artists, perhaps at first the work of a master painter only later completed by his pupils.

 

The Church of San Giuliano is one of the most impressive buildings within the old town centre of Faleria, come and discover this town of the Agro Falisco!

Where is the Church of San Giuliano

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