The deconsecrated church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is a small gem in Grignasco.
A magical place, full of history, past life and beauty.

Inserted in the medieval core of the town, the church of S. Maria delle Grazie was, since the late fifteenth century, patronage of the Durio family, but was used for centuries by the community as a parish church and is known as the gésa vègia.

It was, for centuries, the fulcrum of the civic life of Grignasco: the square in front of it, in fact, was the place appointed for the public assemblies of the Council and of the heads of the family.

The beautiful semi-circular apse, with shingle pebbles and hanging arches, denounces the ancient origin of the building that can be traced back to the end of the eleventh century.

It was subsequently restructured during the XV and XVI centuries and enlarged in the mid-seventeenth century with the addition of the building to the left of the façade: intervention, the latter, in which the presence, at least for the wooden furnishings, by Bartolomeo Tiberino from Arona.

Following the consecration of the new parish church by Vittone (1783), it was gradually abandoned and, at the end of the eighteenth century, it was divided into two parts: one owned by the municipality and the other by the Durio family, who donated it to the Municipality in 1989.

It contains within it two important cycles of frescoes. The fifteenth century, datable around 1489, is attributed to the workshop of Tommaso Cagnola: it remains, almost intact, the decoration of the apse with the apostles, the Christ Pantocrator with the symbols of the evangelists while other well-preserved images emerge along the walls, under the next decorative layer.

Relatively more complete is the sixteenth-century cycle of the Novarese painter Angelo De Canta, dated 1543: beyond the suggestion and the artistic relevance of the images, the cycle is very important as a document of the work of the artist of which little has been preserved in the Novara area.

The decoration affects all the walls of the ancient nave remained, having been demolished the left wall with the seventeenth-century expansion, and is characterized by the division of the surfaces with a painted architecture of arches, niches and windows that enliven the monotony of the flat walls and delimit the scenes and the figures: among them, the beautiful Crucifixion on the triumphal arch and, in order, along the right wall the Pietà between S. Antonio Abate and S. Graziano, S. Martino and the Poor, under the figures of S. Eusebio and S. Lucia, the three kings Adoration, near the bell tower Saints Francesco, Bernardino, Rocco and Sebastiano and, on the opposite wall, the Baptism of Christ.

Taken from:
Grignasco Tourist Guide
Pro Loco Grignasco 1993
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