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Sacrum Luce
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Saints Pietro and Paolo

icona Saints Pietro and Paolo
SS. Pietro e Paolo
Area: Garfagnana
District/Locality: Castelnuovo Garfagnana

Founded in the 10th century, this church was reconstructed in the 15th century and repeatedly restored after the Second World War, which removed all traces of the baroque. The interior furnishings are of interest, and include a wooden crucifix of particular local devotion.
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This church, documented as having been founded by the Teuperto presbytery in the 10th century and cited as "intus castellonovo" dependent on the Parish Church of Fosciana, was demolished and reconstructed in the mid 15th century. This new church is recorded as finished in the "Pastoral Visit" of 1467. The new bell tower was built soon after.

The need for a new, bigger and more modern building was undoubtedly connected to the new status assumed by Castelnuovo, having become the chief town of Este Garfagnana. This area, along with others, was transferred in 1822to the newly-instituted diocese of Massa, returning to Lucca in 1992.

The present building almost completely preserves its Renaissance plan, while the later baroque elements have been cancelled by restoration works carried out after the Second World War, when 12 gilt and painted wooden altars mentioned in the "Pastoral Visit" of 1658 were removed.

The church interior, with a nave and two side aisles with sandstone colonnades, conserves numerous works of art including a painting of the Madonna and Saints Andrea and Giacomo once thought to be by Michele di Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio, today recognised as the work of Giovanni Antonio Sogliani, and a polychrome glazed earthenware altar-piece with Saint Giuseppe, ascribable to Andrea della Robbia. Also of interest, a large wooden Crucifix of particular devotion, known as the black Christ because of its dark patina covering, whose presence in the church dates at least as far back as the 16th century.

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