Saint Thomas Church

The church

The church of St. Thomas stands close to the village of Caramanico Terme and a legend narrates it was built in 45 After Christ, following the appearance of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel.

Some researchers suppose that the church actually stood on an ancient temple dedicated to Hercules, thanks to the find of small bronzes representing the go, just near the structure. Moreover, the crypt of the church keeps a spring water well, an element often associated with the rituals of the cult of Hercules.

Despite the many accidents, the church retains the original layout dating back to the late 12th, early 13th century. The facade of St Thomas has an end with broken gabled. In the main body, it opens the greater portal and the rosette, while in the wings we can see the smaller portals and the windows with different sizes and decorations. The central portal is particularly precious: palmettes, leaves and pinecones are carved in the capitals; In the jambs, a shoot among flowers, fruits, leaves and birds; In the lunette it is visible in red the preliminary drawing of the fresco that would have decorated it and that represents a Madonna with Child between two Saints.

Very interesting is the decoration of the architrave: in the middle, there is the benedictory Christ on the throne and sideways the figures of the apostles, similar in their faces and cloths. The motif of the side portals are simpler and we can see branches coming out from the jaws of animals. Only the right window on the façade is decorated with embossed columns and a luxuriant branch of leaves and cone pines, once again begot from two animals. In the middle of the façade, we find the rosette composed of ten columns arranged in radius and connected with each other by round arches.

The interior of the church shows a structure with one nave and two aisles, a raised presbytery, a semi-circular apse, and a covering with wooden trusses. The stone pillars divide spaces through round arches. Close to the presbytery, arches appear with a slightly acute profile and besides pillars, there are pilasters and semi-columns. The thin small column on the right, counters the solidity of pillars that according to the legend was put by angels as a worked miracle.

The bell tower on the right of the apse was built after the church, in the 18th century.

Some pillars have traces of frescoes. Interesting are the scenes of the Passion of Christ, representing the Deposition of Jesus from the Cross, the Burial of Christ and the Descent to the Limbo. According to stylistic comparisons, frescoes date back to the second half of the 13th century, in particular to the two decades between 1270 and 1290.

How to reach it

From our Farm stay, follow the road signs to Caramanico. The church is in the homonymous district of "San Tommaso", just a few kilometers before the village.

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Coordinates: 42° 11′ 3.13″ N, 13° 58′ 22.39″ E

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