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  • 54,16 sq. km
  • 230 m a.s.l.
  • 2,297
Town Hall:
  • P. Municipio, 1
  • 33010 - Venzone (UD)
  • Carnia, Pioverno, Portis

The terrible catastrophe of 1976 destroyed the medieval town of Venzone, pulling down walls, churches, palaces and houses. Today, however, Venzone has almost completely recovered its original aspect thanks to the careful philological reconstruction of its monuments and its urban plan in general. The duomo was rebuilt between 1988 and 1995 with the original parts and in full respect of the original structures. Erected in local stone in the early 1300s on the site of a pre-existing church dated to the year 1000 and enlarged in 1251 by feudal lord Glizoio di Mels, the duomo was consecrated by Patriarch Bertrand of Saint Geniès and has a Latin cross plan, with single nave and luminous transept onto which open the triumphal arches of the three apse presbyteries, flanked by two towers. The outside is articulated, with polygonal apses reinforced ending in pyramidal spires and statues. Of the three portals, the most artistically interesting is the one facing north (1308) with a relief Blessing Christ in the lunette by master Giovanni, to whose school is also attributed the relief in the south portal lunette (Coronation of the Virgin), while the lunette of the main portal with a Crucifixion bas-relief dates from the mid-14th century. Still on the outside, statues and 14th-century reliefs decorate the walls, together with six Venetian-Byzantine paterae. Inside, important 14th-century frescoes are contained, including the large fresco of the Duomo Consecration, St. Martin and the poor (1350 ca) and an exquisite St. George freeing the princess from the dragon, remarkable for its chromatic interplay, its basically popular and naïf scheme but fresh and vivid all the same. The right apse houses a spectacular stone Vesperbild dating to the early 1400s. Above the right-hand side portal, a Mourning of Christ (Beweinung Christi) in painted and gilded wood is made of eight good-quality statues and dates from about 1530. Bernardino da Bissone is the author of the baptismal font, the two holy water spouts and the Antonini tomb slab (early 16th cent.). Unfortunately, the lovely cycle of early 15th-century frescoes decorating the vault in the Chapel of the Gonfalone (the Gonfalon) was irremediably lost. In the crypt of the Chapel of S. Michele, a round plan building, some mummies are kept, the oldest of which dates to 1647: such mummies formed thanks to a fungus that dehydrates the body in one year’s time, thus causing the skin to become parchment-like. The imposing ring of walls has been partly reconstructed, enclosing in a wide hexagon the eighteen “insulae” of the ancient town, running for about 1060 metres quite high above the large rampart on which the three gate towers stood; of the latter, only the tower S. Genesio, dated 1309, has survived. The Town Hall is a real gem of Gothic ornate style, reminiscent of Venetian and Tuscan influences: built between 1390 and 1410, then several times demolished and rebuilt, it has a loggia and traces of frescoes by Pomponio Amalteo (16th cent.). Close-by stands the new building housing municipal offices (1978- 1981) and in the square is the public fountain, with the typical octagonal basin, created in 1878 by artists Tuti and Fantoni from Gemona. Opposite is Palazzo Radiussi, with its lovely Renaissance portal. In the small Romanesque church of SS. Giacomo and Anna are frescoes (unfortunately mutilated) by painters of Vitale da Bologna’s school (Holy Father, symbols of the Evangelists, Apostles and Baptism of Christ, mid-14th cent.) and in S. Caterina is an interesting 15th-century fresco portraying the Mystic Marriage of S. Caterina; finally, in S. Antonio Abate at Val Venzonassa are frescoes attributed to Gaspare Negro (Stories of S. Antonio Abate and Apostles, 16th cent.



Images from Friuli Venezia Giulia