The church of St. Peter at Castle

© Isola Comacina - COMCEPT
© Isola Comacina - COMCEPT
© Isola Comacina - COMCEPT
© Isola Comacina - COMCEPT

Discovery

The church of St. Peter is mentioned in documents dating back to the twelfth century (before the island was destroyed). In particular in a will of 1129. The ruins of the church were first discovered by L. M. Belloni. Ugo Monneret de Villard, who excavated on the island in 1914, could not find the exact location of the church.

First Excavation Campaign

The remains of the church were unearthed by L. M. Belloni in 1958-59, thanks to a grant from the Lombardy Office of Antiquities.

Description

The building consists of a single hall with a semicircular apse facing East (exterior measures about 22 X 8 m). The church was built on a rocky surface.
It probably replaced the remains of earlier buildings, perhaps part of the fortified area of the “castle.”

The walls are made from grey Moltrasio limestone. A masonry grave structure was found in the room, near the façade. The inside of the grave was plastered with mortar. It contained the bones of several individuals with no grave goods. The traces of ancient fabric imprinted on the mortar are of particular interest.

Dating

Based on the documents and the masonry technique, the church can be dated to the Romanesque period (eleventh-twelfth centuries). Only further archaeological excavation could clarify the date and function of the walls found in the same area. These are made with a different building technique.

Recent Activities

Under the direction of the Archaeological Heritage Office of Lombardy the site was cleared during 2009-2010. New photo and drawing campaigns undertaken.

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