Where it is

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Sacrum Luce
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San Paolo

typology: Parish church
Area: Mediavalle
District/Locality: Bagni di Lucca, locality Vico Pancellorum
Foundation: XII century A.D.

The pieve of S. Paolo, whose existence is attested since the Middle Ages, is in an isolated position near the village of Vico Pancellorum. In spite of a series of renovations in the course of the centuries and recent repairs, the church still preserves its XII century forms.
Decorations can be seen on the façade, along the nave and on the architrave of the entrance portal that shows sculptured religious and geometrical symbols.
State of preservation

The building preserves the architectonic simplicity of its original apse and Medieval façade, while the central walls and the covering vaults are lost. As it appears today the building is the result of an important renovation carried out in 1830.
Historycal news

Between the X and XI centuries the pieve of Vico Pancellorum was headed by a group of clergymen; it later passed into the hands of a federation of lords of Valdilima who collected the tithes. The area administrated by the pieve was not particularly large, though it received quite high revenues. The first stage of construction of the building that can be seen today dates back to the XII century showing a three aisle plan with a semicircular apse. The pieve was built using different techniques by successive teams of masons. The separate bell tower on the north-eastern corner was also built in the XII century.
In the XV century a second entrance was opened on the north side and the apse was entirely rebuilt maybe following a collapse due to an earthquake. These works are mentioned in an inscription on the main portal dated 1545.
In the Baroque period the church was renovated and square windows were opened along the nave replacing the Medieval monofore. The bell tower was raised in the same period as the new building erected south of the church incorporating the lower part of the apse.
In a more recent intervention, carried out in the 1920's after an earthquake, the Medieval monofore were restored, a round window was inserted in the façade and the bell tower was crowned with merlons.

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