Old Parish Church of San Bartolomeo

The total lack of known documents currently makes it impossible to reconstruct the period of foundation of the parish church.

Its dedication to S. Bartolomeo, a saint revered by travellers and pilgrims, suggests the presence of a hospice intended to shelter the many people who, out of faith or necessity, travelled the dangerous roads of the time.

The Pieve of S. Bartolomeo certainly existed in 1058 when it is mentioned in a document of the bishop of Brescia. In another document of 1291, Pope Nicholas IV granted the church of S. Bartolomeo an indulgence on the occasion of the annual feast dedicated to the saint. Other documents from 1339 and 1343, concerning the payment of tithes, document the vitality of the parish church.

It was only towards the end of the 15th century that there was the definitive passage of the pievana organisation to that of the parish, following which S. Bartolomeo would no longer be the point of reference for a large territory but would become the church of the rural settlement of Bornato alone.

The pastoral visit of S. Carlo Borromeo in 1580, however, still records a large church with two naves, baptistery, bell tower and cemetery occupying the part to the north of the church.
In the mid-17th century, the new parish church was built in a more favourable position for the inhabitants of Bornato and this led to the abandonment of the old parish church, which was largely demolished and probably reduced to its present form. During this period, the cemetery use of the site was accentuated with the creation of numerous chamber tombs and ossuaries.

The removal of the cemetery to the lowland area following Napoleon’s edict at the end of the 18th century accelerated the abandonment of the site to the present day.

Translations and photographs by the “Fondazione Antica Pieve di S.Bartolomeo”.

Iniziativa realizzata nell’ambito del bando Wonderfood & Wine di Regione Lombardia e Unioncamere Lombardia per la promozione di Sapore inLOMBARDIA

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