A shot of the swans at Lake Como
While in Portofino and on the few days we did go about sightseeing, we did stop to take a pew if you will, in three different houses of worship. I know, I'm still amazed these very old places still stand after I have step foot in them. While no means am I religious, and not even sure that I buy all the written bible crap, I do enjoy a good church and it's architecture. After being now in Vienna, Budapest, Nuremberg, Costa Rica and Buenos Aires, it amazes me just how old some of these churches are compared to our own here state side. The first was Basilica of Saint Abbondio in Lake Como.
The Basilica di Sant' Abbondio is a great example of Como Romanesque. It is located outside the town walls, at the Monte Croce, along via Regina. In the 9th century, the church was dedicated to San't Abbondio, former bishop of Como, buried here since the 5th century. In 1010 bishop Alberico sent here a community of Benedictine monks who started reconstructing the church. The church has two notable bell towers rising at the one end. The sober building has seven stained glass windows, and a portal. I thought the Romanesque bas reliefs and the main apse were of note.
A smaller, weatherbeaten, but soulful church is muted yellow, much different, much simpler in the area then the other two, looking out to the sea on two sides and one with a view of Portofino. San Giorgio according to a plaque inside, the church was erected in 1154, although further excavations- made in the reconstruction after Second World War, have allowed the discovery of ancient square chapels dating back to perhaps the time of the Lombards in Liguria. Some renovation was carried out in 1760. During the Second World War the church was destroyed entirely by a bomb dropped from a aircraft. The current structure is a result of the reconstruction that took place in 1950 when new alters and fixtures were built. But the relics of Saint George, patron saint of Portofino are still kept in inside.
Another oldie. The Church od San Martino is in the Romanesque style and dedicated to Saunt Martin of Tours. It's believed the church was also probably built in the 12 century, although some documents made mention of 1130. The church's bell tower can see seen from all over town. San Martino is a richly appointed church...with great stonework, marble decoration in and out, many golden textures, stained glass windows and impressive cravings and artworks. The interior is bright, decorated with frescoes, huge chandeliers and massive columns, a huge organ, and many very valuable paintings and sculptures which are believed to date to the 17th and 18th centuries.