Church of Sant'Alò

Apparently, in pagan times, the goddess Cybele was worshipped where stands the church of Sant' Alò. It is, however, the most important testimony of the Romanic period in Terni. The saint to whom it is dedicated is Aloysius, a French saint, protector of goldsmiths, whose name was shortened to Alò in popular speech. The church stands in front of a fountain, still in use today, which in olden times was used by those who lived outside the city walls, a few metres away from Sant'Alò.

It is a building embellished inside by columns and frescos and outside, on what is now the facade, by a series of fragments of sculptures, mostly from the Roman period and seemingly coming from a burial monument. What is today the facade was originally the side of the church. The main prospectus has been cancelled as it was used as a side wall to the adjoining 1300 house built alongside of it, when the top part of the bell tower was also removed and the rest incorporated into the new structure.

On realising the new facade and rebuilding the wall, numerous fragments of Roman times were used which had most probably come from funeral monuments, as has been established for the sculptured lions that enrichen the entrance to the temple. Inside the church, which is all decked in arches and columns, there are numerous frescos, some of which seriously damaged, the most ancient of which date back to the 12th century, while the rest date up to the 16th century.

Sant'Alò belonged to the Augustinian monks, then to the Franciscan nuns, and perhaps to the Knights of Malta and it was, however, the commandry of Jerusalem knights, that means of the kingdom of Jerusalem of which both Templars and Hospitallars were part. The transfer to the latter took place during the 17th century, a period in which the entire inside of the church of Sant'Alò, including the columns had been covered with plaster on which frescos were painted. Fallen into a state of abandon, it was used as a store room and coal shed, and in many cases the paintings were ruined by the chiselling that was supposed to ensure the taking of a new and raw plastering. The apse collapsed.

It was recovered towards the middle of the last century and re-consecrated in 1960. It is currently used as place of worship for the Copts in Umbria.

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from 3.00pm to 7.00pm
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Belvedere Inferiore
P.le F. Fatati 6
Terni

Belvedere Superiore
Voc. Cascata 30
Terni

Tel. 0744 62982
Fax 0744 362231
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