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San Pantaleone


typology: Pieve
Area: Versilia
District/Locality: Massarosa, locality Pieve a Elici
Foundation: IX century A.D.

The pieve of San Pantaleone a Elici - reconstructed in the XII century upon an Early Medieval building - lies on a ridge gradually descending towards the sea shore and dividing the Freddana and Lucense valleys from the marshes of Massaciuccoli. In a dominant position above the plain of Massarosa, the pieve represents a significant example of pre-Romanesque architecture in the Lucca area.
Historycal news

In the XII century the pieve of San Pantaleone was nearly completely rebuilt upon the Early Medieval construction; the latter is mentioned in sources, though only scanty remains of its walls can be seen today on the north side.
The new church was built according to a Latin cross plan, divided in three aisles and provided with a semicircular apse. In 1470 a new high altar was built and a marble triptych was placed upon it.
The most relevant transformations, of a mainly structural nature, were carried out in 1725, as we know from an inscription in the open gallery to the north of the church: the monofore and the bifora on the façade were replaced by large rectangular windows and an arched entrance was built in place of an earlier one on the north side; besides, the interior was covered with a vaulted ceiling and the pillars and walls were entirely plastered.
The twentieth century restoration, that was begun in 1906 and resumed for a second time in 1956, aimed at recovering the original Medieval structure of the church by reopening the monofore and the bifora on the façade.

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