Loquis: Chiesa di Santa Maria Bressanoro

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Chiesa di Santa Maria Bressanoro


Published on:  2018-11-14 19:22:41

  Stories of art in Lombardy

The church stands on an ancient site, the "curte de Brnonoianorum", where an ancient defensive castle stood in the Middle Ages. Already mentioned in documents dating back to the ninth century, it is therefore considered one of the oldest in the Cremona area. In its present form it arrives in 1461. Its history is linked to that of the Portuguese Amadeo de Sylva Menezes, a Jewish noble who renounced his political career to convert to Christianity. After a long stay at the Augustinian convent of Santa Maria di Guadalupe in Extremadura begins to travel to find asylum and reception at the Franciscan order. His long pilgrimage took him to Italy to Milan, where he obtained the priestly order in 1452. With the support of Bianca Maria Visconti, Duchess of Milan and wife of Francesco Sforza, he managed to obtain the place, where he established his religious community. and the financial means to achieve it. The choice falls on Castelleone, a holiday resort favored by Bianca Maria, recognized as a strategically suitable site for the construction of a large church and an adjoining convent to promote the new religious congregation and where the friars of his religious order, called later the Amadeiti. The construction of the Church, referred to as "caput customee Fratrum Amadeitorum" and named after the Madonna of Guadalupe in memory of the place of conversion of Amadeo, lasts for over ten years because of the considerable constructive and economic commitment of the work and stands as a center of the expansion of the new religious order. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the bell tower and the polygonal choir were added to the original nucleus. The choice of the central octagon that rises on a square base will characterize part of the churches of Amadeita foundation constituting the qualifying element in comparison with the churches of the Franciscan Observance. This constructive modality will then be taken up again in other shrines dedicated to the Virgin, which we can now find in the dioceses of Lodi and Crema, such as the Incoronata and Santa Maria della Croce. There is no shortage of references to the Church of San Sebastiano in Mantua. On the grounds that gave rise to the construction of the church, we also read original stories that explain why the Duchessa financed such a work. It is said that Bianca Maria Visconti invokes the healing of her seriously ill daughter, made a vow to God and as a devout offer committed herself to build a temple in the likeness of the church of Santa Maria di Guadalupe, frequented by Amadeo Sylva y Menezes at the time of passage to religious life. Among the Lombard workers working in the church for the realization of the decorative apparatus, there is also the name of Rinaldo De Stavolis counted among one of the most important Cremonese plasticatories of the second half of the fifteenth century, active in the Certosa of Pavia and perhaps also in the Milanese Hospital. To date, Santa Maria in Bressanoro remains a solitary church dedicated to the Madonna, not of great fame, perhaps also because of its peripheral and decentralized position with respect to the urban nucleus; this peculiarity still today gives it an evocative and silent timeless charm.

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