Located at an altitude of 900 m, Grignaghe rises along the ancient road to Val Trompia (Trompia valley), through the hill of San Zeno, traced by today’s carriageway. This route, widely used from the Middle Ages, guaranteed the transport of iron extracted from the mines at Grignaghe and Pontasio to the Val Trompia forges. The wealth and importance that it brought to the district (“Well-populated area and famous for its mines” as described by Father Gregory in 1698) emerges in its buildings and especially in the unusual erratic sculptures found in St. Rocco’s Square and via San Rocco: the five red sandstone monumental elements, with scenes that are difficult to interpret, would have decorated the portals of a civilian building. Despite the vigorous and elementary plasticity, that suggested a Lombard origin, the details and the presence of a Visconti coat of arms place them in the mid 14th Century.
Grignaghe boasts a compact structure, the result of an ancient fortified layout: the church of St. Rocco rises on the ancient entrance tower, visible from the steps to the right side of the façade, and many buildings still show the structures of the 13th and 14th Centuries in the corners in massive blocks and imposing portals. Taking the steep descents that lead from the central street (via Imavilla – via Fontana) one can observe the peculiar structures of the buildings towards the valley, with large vaults that overcome the height difference of the slope. The edge of a tower-house can be seen in via Cimavilla and there is a fine example of traditional wood and stone architecture leaning against it.
The parish church of San Michele (St. Michael), rebuilt in the 18th Century is located upstream, isolated from the village: it can be reached from Via San Rocco or by car following the directions for Passabocche. The large building preserves some 14th Century fragments on the outside and inside shows the sedimentation of decorative campaigns between the 16th Century and the 18th Century: with some works lost, others of particular value and ancient sources, are the Mysteries of the Rosary, by Pietro Ricchi (about 1640-1645).
For more information:
MOTTA G., Grignaghe, fantasmi di medioevo, in “AB Atlante Bresciano”, n. 88 (autunno 2006), pp. 23-24.
PANAZZA G., Grignaghe, in Arte in Val Camonica. Monumenti e opere, III.2, Brescia 1994, pp. 518-585.
BIANCHI A., MACARIO F., In loco de Pisoneis. Pisogne 1299: il borgo del vescovo, Pisogne 2008, pp. 94-97.
Itinerari storico culturali – Pisogne, a cura dell’U.S.P.A.A.A., Brescia 2009, pp. 26-27.
Brunelli G., Curiosi trattenimenti contenenti ragguagli sacri e profani dei popoli camuni, Venezia 1698; ed. cons. rist. anast. a cura di O. Franzoni, Breno 1998.
E.M. Guzzo, scheda (16), in Pietro Ricchi, 1606-1675, catalogo della mostra (Riva del Garda, Museo civico, Chiesa dell’ Inviolata, 5 ott. 1996-15 genn. 1997) a cura di M. Botteri Ottaviani, Milano-Ginevra 1996, pp. 256-259.