The Route of the 6 churches
Carona has a rich variety of six churches worth seeing.
The "sentiero delle 6 chiese" (route oft he 6 churches) is therfore highly recommended. The path begins at the Parish Church of San Salvatore and ends at the surprisingly sparkling Monastery of Santa Maria di Torello.
Il sentiero delle 6 chiese:
1: Parish Church of San Salvatore
In 1213, the Bishop of Como sold his property in Ciona and the mountain formerly called "Bellenio" to the Chapter of S. Lorenzo in Lugano. On the summit there was already a small chapel dedicated to S. Salvatore (hence the name). Soon it was transformed into a small church. On the occasion of the feast of the Ascension in 1680, the Chapter of S. Lorenzo ceded the church and the summit to the Confraternity of S. Marta and Buona Morte. In 1703, the Brotherhood decided to demolish the original church and build a new one. In 1718, the work was completed. The history of the last two centuries is rich in news about the many interventions that involved the Brotherhood and the Funicular Management in their respective roles as owners and managers of the place. The Funicular was put into service in 1890, the Lightning Research Centre in 1943 and the installation of the television and radio antennas of the PTT in 1969. Finally, in 1999, the two organisations created the San Salvatore Museum, and the Confraternity was able to enrich and embellish the church on the summit. In 1900 the installation of the large iron cross, a historical testimony of this mountain which is continuously interpreted by the Funicular Management and the presence of the Confraternity of S. Marta and Buona Morte.
2: Capella della Madonna delle Grazie (Ciona). 16th century chapel.
The today whitewashed facade was originally painted. The decoration was commissioned by Bishop Francesco Bonesana between 1579 and 1597. The work was completed in 1597, as the files show. Today only the sundial and a stucco decoration above the portal can be seen, where in an oval frame there may have been a picture of the Madonna whose name the church bears.
3: Parish Church of San Giorgio. Built in the 15th century, choir with fresco "The Last Judgement" by Domenico Pezzi
The church was first mentioned in 1425, when Pope Martin the Fifth decreed its separation from the collegiate church of San Lorenzo in Lugano and elevated it to a parish church. Today it appears essentially the same as in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the last quarter of the 16th century some changes were made to adapt the church to the orders of the Counter-Reformation Council of Trento. The council was concluded in 1563. It was then demanded that church buildings and their works of art radiated special decency and dignity. As a result, during these years the bishop's see gave instructions to renovate the church and to reward various workshops for their work. The official consecration of the church did not take place until 14 May 1698. This was carried out by Francesco Bonesana, Bishop of Como, as the inscription on the architrave of the portal testifies and as it is also confirmed in a document of the episcopal archive in Lugano.
4: Fraternity Church of Santa Marta. Built in the Middle Ages, frescoes from 1486.
The church dates from very ancient times and it is thought to be an original Roman building dedicated to St. Paul. At the end of the 17th century the church was rebuilt. The new building was completed in 1709. The church façade on the right shows the remains of a fresco of St. Christopher, who was often depicted as the protector of travellers and pilgrims at churches and chapels, where the visitor immediately saw him.
5: Madonna d'Ongero. Built in 17th century stucco by A. Casella 1646-1648, frescoes by Antonio Petrini
The Santuario della Madonna d`Onero is a small masterpiece of Baroque art. The church was built between 1624 and 1640 on the foundations of a small chapel from 1515, which contained a miraculous image of Our Lady of Loreto. This picture was found according to popular belief by a deaf-mute girl, who could speak again immediately afterwards.
Hermann Hesse wrote a story about this church. Click here and read about it:
Feast of the Madonna d'Ongero
Text by Hermann Hesse from 1924
6: Convent of Santa Maria Assunta di Torello. Built and donated in 1217 by Bishop Guglielmo della Torre of Como, it is now privately owned. Romantic building with frescos from the 13th century.
The solemn consecration of the church took place in 1217 in the presence of the bishop. Monks of the Augustinian Order moved into the monastery, which soon ruled over vast areas of the surrounding land: in Grancia it had a grain warehouse, and the monastery also had lands in Carabbia, Pazzallo, Figino and Bioggio. This income secured the livelihood of the monastic community. Convention 1389 was abolished by papal decree.
Excerpts from the art guide
"Carona - its artists, its art monuments".
You can buy this art guide in the village
or directly at Pro Carona, the tourist office
on Carona, via email.(firstname.lastname@example.org)