Tag Archives: church Fossa

almost nine years on from the Abruzzo earthquake…

The original Fossa church, built early 1200s, Santa Maria ad Cryptas, damaged and braced when I saw it soon after the 2009 earthquake as aftershocks occurred. And on the right, undergoing restoration of 800-year-old, Gothic-Byzantine frescoes inside (photo courtesy Fossa Commune).

Religious depictions aside, it’s great how frescoes in this church also portray the pagan agrarian calendar and seasons important to a rural community while showing stories for those not fortunate to learn to read. Since the 14th century, the area has had at least seventeen earthquakes yet this little structure filled with art survives eight centuries so far.

Almost nine years on from the earthquake, rebuilding is a long time coming and many villagers, including my relatives, still reside in temporary housing. So it’s with much hope to learn of restorations starting to happen for various public structures as well as private dwellings in Fossa and other municipalities affected in the area. Fingers crossed it continues and gains momentum.

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From over the Aterno Valley, Abruzzo…

Santa Maria Assunta, Fossa, AbruzzoThe steeple of Santa Maria Assunta in Fossa… the church that sits opposite my family’s house in Abruzzo. It was lovely to walk along the lanes below and listen to the bell tolling the time of day or to hear it from afar when you were on your way back to the village.

When I took this in 2005, it was a beautiful, serene day with no hint that just four years later the steeple’s turret would be gone when the earthquake caused it to crash down through the church roof.

Originally built in the 1200s, the church was expanded during the 1400s and then partly rebuilt following the earthquake of 1703. (At this time, my family’s house was about a decade old and had experienced its first terremoto.) I took this photograph with my old Pentax camera on black and white film. Although just over a decade ago, I didn’t yet have a digital camera then!

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