All Places in Portovenere

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    Church of San Pietro

    The Church of San Pietro is an ancient church dedicated to Saint Peter, built on a rocky edge in Portovenere, facing the beautiful Gulf of Poets.   SHORT HISTORY The original church was founded on the ancient remains of a pagan temple dedicated to the goddess Venus Erycina, and was consecrated in 1198. The black and white bands on the walls were added by the Genoese in the 13th century, presumably between 1256 and 1277. The church lost its parochial title at the end of the 14th century, in favor of the Church of San Lorenzo, and was officiated by the secular clergy until 1798. In 1494, the church was affected by the attacks of the Aragonese, and later, during the Napoleonic era, was used as a battery to defend the Gulf of La Spezia. The church underwent a significant restoration work between 1929 and 1934.   ARCHITECTURE The original church is a work in the Syriac tradition of the 5th century, with a rectangular plan and a semicircular apse. Two round arches connect this space with the newer church. The latter has a structural wooden roof and the presbytery is divided into three chapels, covered with ogival and cross Read more [...]

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    Church of San Lorenzo

    The Church of San Lorenzo is a religious building dedicated to Saint Lawrence, located in a dominant position on a hill overlooking the village of Portovenere, close to the Castello Doria. The church is also known today as the Sanctuary of the White Madonna (Santuario della Madonna Bianca), the White Madonna being the patron saint of Portovenere.   SHORT HISTORY According to some historical sources, a first church was erected here in Romanesque style starting with 1098, on a place where, in ancient times, there was probably a temple dedicated to Jupiter. The church was consecrated in 1130 by Pope Innocent II. At the end of the 14th century, the Church of San Lorenzo inherited the parochial title from the Church of San Pietro. In 1340, a fire damaged the church and, in 1494, the building was partially destroyed by the incursion of the Aragonese. For these reasons, the church underwent restoration works between 1494 and 1582. These interventions consisted in the replacement of the black Portoro marble columns with white marble columns, the demolition of the presbytery’s nave tower and its replacement with an octagonal dome, the reconstruction of the bell tower next to the apse and the replacement Read more [...]

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    Castello Doria

    Castello Doria is a castle located on a rocky hill overlooking the seaside village of Portovenere, one of the great examples of military architecture of the Republic of Genoa.   SHORT HISTORY An ancient fortress already existed in this place when, in 1139, the Republic of Genoa gained control of the village of Portovenere, with the help of the local lords of Vezzano. In 1161, the castle was rebuilt closer to the Church of San Pietro, and the new building was virtually annexed to the old fortified structure, including two identical watch towers. In the 13th century, the castle was the center of the struggles between Genoa and Pisa for the conquest of the surrounding lands. In the second half of the 15th century, Genoa decided to demolish the castle and rebuild it in a modern style, according to the architectural and military canons of the period. The rebuilding works continued in the 15th and 16th centuries, but the fortress took its current appearance only in the 17th century. During the French domination of Napoleon Bonaparte, at the beginning of the 19th century, the castle was used as a prison, without altering its architectural forms. Today, the ancient Genoese fortress Read more [...]