Luogo - Religious building
CHIESA DI SANTA MARIA DI RONZANO
Where Castel Castagna (Teramo)
Santa Maria in Ronzano is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Romanic churches in the Abruzzi. It was erected in 1170 in the Mavone Valley, also called Sicilian Valley. Owing to a ruinous fire in 1183, the side where the Benedictine monks' residence used to be was completely destroyed and has never been rebuilt anymore.
The church, restored in the mid twentieth century, has a brick façade with pilasters and blind arches in local white stone. It was meant to be provided with a frontal arcade, which has never been built, while a big circular window faces the Gran Sasso. The interior, which round arches divided in a nave and two aisles with apses at the top, keeps the mark of the fire that calcined the stones of the cross-shaped pillars. The frescoes of the central apse date back to 1181: they portray Christ in blessing, inserted in an almond-shaped border supported by angels, and below a procession of saints and scenes of Jesus's life