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Chiesa San Giovenale, Orvieto

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#6 of 18 in Historic Sites in Orvieto
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Church
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Chiesa di San Giovenale is a church in Orvieto, Umbria, Italy. Initially constructed in 1004, it contains frescos and artefacts from the 12th and 13th centuries. It belongs to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orvieto-Todi.
The church was built in 1004, possibly on the site of an Etruscan temple dedicated to Jupiter. There was an early Christian church on the site, probably from the 6th century, also dedicated to San Giovenale. It stood next to another religious building dedicated to San Savino, the only record of which is contained in a fresco by Ugolino di Prete Ilario in Orvieto Cathedral. The present church was built in 1004 with the support of several rich families in the area and was documented as a parish church in 1028. An inscription on the high altar (GUIDO ABAS MCLXX) indicates that by 1170 it belonged to the order of monks known as Ordine Guglielmino. When the monks left in c. 1248, it again became a parish church. On being reconsecrated by Bishop Giuseppe Marsciano in 1739, it fell under Sant' Agostino until 1810 when it came under the Franciscans. After the Franciscan community was suppressed in 1860, the church was returned to the diocese.
The church was initially constructed in the Romanesque style. A tall bell tower stands on the side of the bare facade. The semi-circular apse was removed when, in the 14th century, extensions at the eastern end in the Gothic style terminated in a rectangular apse. There are still traces of the Romanesque porch and the blind arches of the period. An inscription on the lateral door gives its date of construction as 1497. While the lower part of the building is original, the upper part was rebuilt in 1825.
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  • This is the oldest church in Orvieto, so is less ornate than the Renaissance-era churches. But the frescoes are beautiful, some of which have been restored. It's interesting to see the simple nature.....  more
    This is the oldest church in Orvieto, so is less ornate than the Renaissance-era churches. But the frescoes are beautiful, some of which have been restored. It's interesting to see the simple nature.....  more »
  • Beautifully frescoed and restored church near the cliff - take a walk on the ramparts to fully take in the beauty of Orvieto. A classic gem of the Romanesque with frescoes dating from the era. Not.....  more
    Beautifully frescoed and restored church near the cliff - take a walk on the ramparts to fully take in the beauty of Orvieto. A classic gem of the Romanesque with frescoes dating from the era. Not.....  more »

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