Convent complex and Church of Sant'Antonio
The chosen good represents the beating heart of Bisaccia, hosts its Patron Saint, St. Anthony of Padua and is full of curiosities related to its history. The place where the convent was located was located on the border between the countryside and what was the beginning of the country, to act as a hinge between the poor reality and the town. In a document of the late 1600s is already mentioned the large linden that is in front of the church. The Church of the Convent, dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua in 1400, is part of a Franciscan monastic complex that included twelve to twenty units. The complex consisted of: − A Cloister, that is a closed but open place: it was an open space delimited by arcades where the monks took walks; − A guesthouse for pilgrims; − Cells, or small rooms for the monks; − Vegetable gardens from which they got everything they needed, given that the monastery was to be almost autonomous; − A refectory. The Franciscans remain in Bisaccia only until 1809, when there was the suppression of the monastic orders and their properties by Napoleon, in this period the French stripped the churches of all their assets. The church then becomes a public patronage and piece by piece the convent is completely sold and privatized. And with the earthquake of 1980, the last remaining traces of what was an important monastic complex were lost. The seventeenth-century triptych has a wooden statue of St. Anthony that is never carried in procession, because, according to an ancient and superstitious belief, catastrophic events occur when it is moved.
Bene ambientale architettonico: Architettura
Building in stone and river pebbles, the Church has undergone major interventions, including restoration.The Franciscans build by addition following the road, the rooms they had supplied and the materials they had at their disposal, that is, the river stones that they collected themselves, not being able to buy rich materials. The Franciscan Statute in fact provided that the churches should not be too decorated and only simple materials such as stone and wood should be used.
Frati conventuali
There are two hypotheses of the foundation: HYPOTHESIS1: The convent was founded by the passage of St.Francis on the pilgrimage to Monte S.Angelo (1222). HYPOTHESIS2: The church was donated to the conventuals by Gregory XIII in the mid-500
Piazza del Convento, Bisaccia
The Church belongs to the Archdiocese of Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi, Conza, Nusco and Bisaccia, it is the seat of the Archconfraternity of St. Anthony of Padua
The church is in good condition, subjected to restoration and conservation in various periods.
The current architectural complex is largely the result that has been reached through destruction inflicted by earthquakes over the centuries (1694-1732-1930). The exterior is presented in a sober and essential style. On the right side there are some rooms annexed to the church: they are what remains from the ancient convent together with the limestone entrance portal with the coat of arms of the Franciscans, dated 1754. On the left instead develops the bell tower that makes body with the church itself. The Franciscans build by addition following the road, the rooms they had supplied and the materials they had at their disposal, that is, the river stones that they collected themselves, not being able to buy rich materials. The ancient nucleus is the chapel of St. Anthony. The church, with a longitudinal plan, but irregular, is divided into two naves, with broken chapels arranged along the left one. The interior, harmonized by the valuable seventeenth-eighteenth century stuccoes is enriched by the precious altars and an interesting wooden choir that, located in the apse, finishes the liturgical and architectural context of the sacred place. The nave converges towards the presbytery, bordered by a balustrade. This environment is dominated by the high altar from the church of the Celestines of Gesualdo, it was purchased, together with the wooden choir behind it, by the Cathedral Chapter and the Municipality in 1810. In refined polychrome marbles of the late seventeenth century, it represents one of the most soughtafter elements of the convent church, it contains in its grandeur a wealth of carvings and inlaps of marble, among which the fine work of sculpture of the frontal, the volutes of the table, the tabernacle and the altar-head angels stand out. Subsequently, in the 40s of the twentieth century, a marble temple was placed above the altar in order to contain the eighteenth-century wooden statue of the Immaculate Conception. This temple although it constitutes a valid example of local craftsmanship, has nevertheless covered the visual and spatial introspection of the apse, altering the original architectural relationships. Along the right wall of the nave you can admire: The altar dedicated to St. Joseph: in stone, built in 1750 and equipped with an apostolic pardon for the deceased of 1753. The niche above houses the coevo wooden bust of the saint. Below is the niche that houses the minea statue of St. Anthony of Padua, clearly dated eighteenth-century. The altar of the Annunciation: in limestone, of 1621, in the piedritti of the base is carved the coat of arms of the Cappa family, while the frontal has been lost. In the upper part, between two columns there is an arch that incorporates the canvas of the Annunciation, the altar ends with the entablature in which the epigraphs that recall its construction and a restoration that took place in 1854 are inserted. The painting on canvas placed in the presbytery depicts the Immaculate Conception. The nave ends with the apse. A valuable wooden choir is arranged along its entire width. Datable around the end of the '700 comes from the suppressed church of the Franciscans of Ariano Irpino. It consists of stalls elevated by two steps with respect to the floor. In the upper panels you can admire eleven bas-reliefs depicting the Passion of Jesus Christ. This place, intended for the liturgy of the hours, as it recalls the eschatological church, the heavenly Jerusalem, is embellished with an ancient wooden crucifix, most likely coming from the ancient Cathedral. The aisle, bordered by round arches, directs our attention directly to the chapel that crowns it. This chapel can be defined as both the liturgical and artistic heart of the whole church: it is the place where the sacrament of the Eucharist is kept and here it is exposed to the veneration of the faithful Relic of St. Anthony of Padua, donated to Bisaccia on June 10, 2001 by the Friars of the Basilica of Padua; there are preserved the oldest and most important artistic artifacts of the entire architectural complex: a painted wooden altarpiece and a triptych also in wood. The side chapel, dedicated to St. Anthony, presents the altar of the saint and is of public patronage. In fact, the Municipal Administration every year donates two candles that have precise prescriptions: weight, palio, cost, decoration. In 2021, marking the 800th anniversary of the meeting between St. Anthony and St.Francis, the palio shown on the candle represents the Saint with the flame and the Gospel and Francis with the stigmata. The chapel contains 2 single-lancet windows and a niche, in the masonry of about 1300. Of the '500 remain traces of a tax arc of the past, lost. The triptych develops in height in three niches that house respectively the statues of St.Anthony of Padua, St.Bonaventure of Bagnoregio and St. Leonardo of Limoges.