Casola in Lunigiana
Plebs Sancti Cipriani de capite pontis
(Papa Eugenio III – 1148)
Casola in Lunigiana owes its historical importance to the discovery of stele-statues and to the extraordinary nature of its Parish Church of Saints Cornelius and Cyprian in Codiponte. This last monument, in fact, is one of the most important Romanesque temples in the whole region.
The current structure dates back to the 12th century, but the original structure was much more ancient. It has a basilica-like plan, with three naves facing east, which are defined by sandstone columns supporting round arches. The sculptural groups of the capitals are of great importance, portraying subjects typical of the European Middle Ages that are still being analysed by scholars, such as the two-tailed mermaid, which, in our option, represent both the figure of the fish (in Aramaic it is an acronym for Christ, therefore a symbol of Salvation) and the anchor (which is a maritime metaphor for safety, therefore a symbol of Faith).
Not to be missed, on the wall at the back of the right aisle of the temple, is a late medieval triptych with the Virgin Mary on the throne with the Child in the centre, Saints Cornelius and Cyprian on the right and the image of the Holy Face on the left. The “Via del Volto Santo” (“Path of the Holy Face”) has touched this place as well.
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