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Places of worship in the city center

by Vincenzo Falasca


In Saponaria, since its birth, were built many churches and chapels. Some of them were rebuilt after the earthquake of 1857, while of others of them just remained small pieces of wall or has been handed down only the name.

In front of each medieval door there was a small church. Here following there are the most important, of which still remained significant evidences.

St. Infantino

St. Mary of Constantinople (photo by V.Falasca)Originally called St. Mary of Constantinople. Its construction is prior to the Collegiate. Built by Oriental monks, its place is the convent of St. Antonio Abate.

Recently, on the inner wall at the bottom, came to light wall paintings representing the oriental martyrs Saints Cosma and Damiano. Madonna’s simulacrum, holding the Christ child on her left arm, more greco, that means according to the Greek  mores, recently restored, has proved being of extraordinary workmanship and, according to experts, is one of the oldest in Basilicata (moved the 23rddecember 1995 into the Church of Holy Rosary in Archpriest Caputi square).

St. Rocco

It is located in front of the medieval door of St. Laniero. Built in the early seventeenth century, when the people, scourged by many pestilences, began to turn to this Saint, Patron of plague victims. His cult was very wide spread after the great plague of 1656. Inside it is saved a small statue of the saint.


Madonna of Carmine

It is located in Mancuso district, at the end of the homonymous street. It was rebuilt by Toscano family after  the earthquake of 1857. Referred to it was the Congregation of Carmelites, consisting of young girls of the place. The Pious Association of Carmelites Congregation survived until around 1950.


St. Joseph

It was located in front of the Court Door, in the place nowadays called Largo Umberto I. Destroyed by the earthquake of 1857, it was rebuilt in 1860 by Andrea Giliberti. Today is known as Giliberti chapel.


Church of Holy Rosary

Sanseverino and Aragon’s coats of arms at the center of late baroque altar-front in the Church of Holy RosarySanseverino and Aragon’s coats of arms at the center of late baroque altar-front in the Church of Holy Rosary

It is located in Archpriest Caputi square. It was built in 1680 by the chapter priest Girolamo Ianneo.

Inside it are saved a magnificent wooden late baroque altar, polychrome, and the underlying altar-front, silver plated, a real masterpiece of Neapolitan school.

On the main façade of the church is printed the coat of arms of the Congregation of Rosary.


St. Catherine

Interior of St. Catherine Church before restoring (photo by V.Falasca)Private church owned by Ceramelli family (current heirs: Taddeo Filomena and Larossa family from Bari), situated opposite to the city hall.

It is possible to access in it through a wonderful eighteen century stone portal.


St. Mary of Piety

St.Mary of Piety (photo by V.Falasca)Private chapel, once owned by Danio and Giliberti families (nowadays, owned by Camilla Caputi), located on St. Infantino street in St. Rocco district.

Inside it there is a statue depicting the Pietà by Michelangelo, hence the name.