Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta
In addition to being one of the most evocative places of faith, the Church of Santa Maria Assunta is an authentic symbol of the Andretta community.
Bene ambientale architettonico: Architettura
The Church is located on a terrace, raised above the street level, which is accessed via a wide staircase. On the side of the Mother Church stands the imposing bell tower, presumably built on the foundations of one of the towers of the medieval castle of Andretta. The bell tower, with its spire dome, is the element that dominates the entire historic center and the surrounding area. The current layout of the Church, with three naves with apses, differs from the original one with a single nave, probably of early medieval origin. The structure is in stone masonry and occupies an area of approximately 986 square meters and a volume of 8880 cubic meters. The salient or "composite hut" façade projects to the outside, through sloping roofs at different heights, the internal subdivision of the naves, the central higher than the lateral ones. The façade is marked by four superimposed pilasters which, in the lower part, frame the surface covered in stone in which there is the local stone portal with a broken curved tympanum and, in the upper part, support the central architraved pediment. Two quadrangular side windows, the central niche and the local stone cladding, at the corners of the building, complete the monumental facade. The ceiling of the main nave is linear and, in the central part, shows a large painting of the coronation of the Virgin in 1826, the work of the painters Gaetano del Buono, also author of the design, and Generoso Avallone. The lateral perimeter of the hall is defined by four arches and an entablature band, supported by pilasters leaning against the pillars, and by the windows that illuminate the central nave. The presbytery area, raised above the level of the nave, is framed by a large triumphal arch and is covered by a dome decorated with stucco and frescoes. On the main altar in polychrome marble stands the Throne of the Assumption with the wooden statue of the Virgin dating back to the 18th century. Behind the main altar, arranged along the curve of the apse, there is the wooden choir, in carved walnut, from 1758. Along the walls of the side aisles there are: the altar of the Madonna del Rosario from the 19th century, the Chapel of S. Antonio built in 1904, the altar with the seventeenth-century statue of the Madonna delle Grazie, the door of the sacristy of the eighteenth century, the statues of S. Lucia and S. Vito, the Altar of S. Maria del Suffragio and Purgatorio with the painting of 1685, the altar of S. Rocco of 1769 and the altar of S. Gerardo. At the bottom of the side aisles, on the sides of the main altar, there are the chapel of St. Michael the Archangel and that of the SS. Sacramento with polychrome marble altar, contemporary with the construction of the church.
The church was built from scratch in the second half of the eighteenth century, according to the plan of Father Agostino Arace who, in one apparition, "sees the design of the ships, the upper room, the secret rooms; he sees the number of altars and the entire shape of the Temple that divine Wisdom itself desired ".
XVIII century
Piazza Municipio, 17, 83040 Andretta AV
Architectural asset of the Church Ecclesiastical Region: Diocese of Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi, Conza, Nusco, Bisaccia Parish church
In the past, even after the Napoleonic decree of 1806 which established the construction of cemeteries outside the towns, the Church of the Annunziata, like other religious buildings, was used to bury the dead. In 1685 the religious building was certainly in a state of complete decay and abandonment, as the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Conza points out, so much so that many burials were easily desecrated, as evidenced by the correspondence of a trial held in 1690 against the priest of the time, even accused of witchcraft. The earthquakes of 1694 and 1732 caused considerable and further damage to the Church, aggravating a condition already strongly compromised. Father Agostino Arace, responding to the invitation of the Archbishop of Conza, Giuseppe Nicolai, started the reconstruction work in 1736. The new religious building, in Baroque style, was enlarged compared to the original one with a single nave. The works went on for a long time and ended only in 1826. In 1830, as a cemetery had not yet been built, the Mother Church continued to be used for burials. Fortunately, even today, despite the earthquake of 23 November 1980, the eighteenth-century church of the Assunta dominates with its majesty and beauty in the urban fabric of the small Irpinia town. The imposing bell tower, physically separated from the religious building by a small road, followed the same historical-construction events as the Mother Church. According to what Angelo Acocella writes, during the feudal era the bell tower was "one of the various forms of defense of the feudal lord's fortress, to which it was almost attached", presumably a tower. After the seventeenth century, the battered structure had to collapse, "it had its adverse fate, allowing itself to be overcome by the fraudulent force of time", and its remains were most likely used to consolidate the Mother Church. The earthquakes of 1694 and 1732 destroyed not only the Mother Church but also what remained of the defensive structure. In 1813, the dome of the bell tower was demolished and a new roof was built.