New Earthquake Strikes Umbria, Italy: Church of San Benedetto da Norcia Collapses [GALLERY]

© Perceval Archeostoria – Minima Medievalia. All rights reserved.

A  powerful 6.5-magnitude earthquake striked central Italy on Sunday morning,  the strongest tremor to hit the country since 1980. Numerous buildings have collapsed, among them the ancient basilica of San Benedetto in Norcia, Umbria.

Only a few days ago another devastating tremor completely destroyed the medieval church of San Salvatore di Campi di Norcia [PHOTOS AND ARTICLE HERE].

The current monastery was physically located above the 5th century ruins of the house of St. Benedict and his twin sister St. Scholastica, and has been the location of monastic communities since the tenth century AD.

The façade, the side portal and the lower bell tower dated from the late 14th century, and is the only part of the church that survived collapse. In 1570 a portico (Portico delle Misure) was added to the right side, by will of the commune and the ecclesiastical authorities, to act as covered cereals market, this also collapsed. On the side, near the transept, was a spur with a niche housing a Madonna with Child from a local, late-Gothic painter.

The basilica had a Latin cross plan, with a single nave. The apse and the internal dome at the transept dated from the 18th century reconstruction only the 14th-century triumphal arch, restored in the 1950s, remained from the original Gothic nave.

Below are some dramatic images of the church as it was before the quake and now, after collapse. (further updates coming up)

Foto: Norcia.net , Twitter et alii.

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