Church of San Giovanni Battista, Monterosso al Mare
Church in Monterosso al Mare
The construction of the church of San Giovanni Battista took place between 1244 and 1307, a date commemorated on a rock within the second column on the left when facing the altar. It underwent Baroque-style renovations and more recent refurbishments between 1963 and 1964, exemplifying the splendid Genoese Ligurian Gothic architecture.
The façade showcases a harmonious combination of white marble and dark green serpentine, arranged in alternating patterns. A slightly splayed pointed portal takes center stage, flanked by a double set of marble columns. Above this portal, a lunette adorned with an 18th-century fresco depicting the Baptism of Christ adds to its charm. The central rose window, crafted from exquisite white marble, represents an exceptional specimen of intricate Gothic design, often attributed to Matteo and Pietro da Campiglio. From the central point, eighteen columns, both smooth and twisted, radiate out alternately, forming intertwined trefoil arches.
Designed in a basilica layout with three naves, the structure gradually narrows the width of the aisles toward the entrance. This architectural choice creates a compelling visual perspective and enhances the propagation of sound waves. Noteworthy interior features include a baptismal font dating back to 1360, a canvas portraying the Madonna del Rosario from the school of Luca Cambiaso, a painting depicting the Crucifixion by an anonymous artist, likely a 17th-century Genoese painter, and the high altar from 1734. One of the columns bears an inscription etched in medieval characters.
Adjacent to the apse area, the bell tower stands tall, adorned with Ghibelline-style battlements. This tower, originally a medieval control tower with a rectangular layout, was fitted with Gothic mullioned windows with arches adorned with denticles. In the 15th century, it was raised, and later in the 18th century, it underwent remodeling following an earthquake.
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