ST. CATHERINE'S CHURCH

Corso Garibaldi (Ortona)


The earliest nucleus of the building can be recognized in the architectural structure of the so called oratory of the Cross, a vaulted hall dated most likely to the XII century. The ancient sacred place takes its name from a fifteenth-century fresco representing a scene of Crucifixion, which is still preserved there, though moved from its Baroque altar in 1991. The Benedictine Sisters, saying their prayers before the picture, saw blood gushing from Christ's chest. They saved the blood in a few cruets which were stolen in 1570, carried to Venice and finally brought back to the town in 1934. Thus the building of the church started from the chapel of the Cross. It was dedicated to Saint Catherine and, at the beginning of the eighteen century, it was covered with precious and refined stuccoes, carried out by the cultured master Giovan Battista Gianni from Cerano d'Intelvi, who operated in the Abruzzi in the early eighteen century.


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