The Church of St. Bartholomew

The Parrish Church of St. Bartholomew is on the opposite site of the main gateway to the piazza of Tizzana. It would appear that it was built at the same time as the fortress and the tower bell, about the year 1000 AD even though the first reference to the Church can only be found in 1138. Since the beginning the Church was registered as a dependant Chapel of the Parrish of Quarrata, whilst the civil jurisdiction saw Quarrata as being dependant of Tizzana.

It became a Parrish Church several hundred years later around 1679. With the numerous restructures of the Church carried out between the 17th and 18th century the probable Romanesque structure may have been lost. The external façade of the Church comprises a portico with three full arches capped by a classical pointed pinnacle. The 17th century portico was restored in 1992.

Internally the Church comprises a single nave with a main Alter traced back to 1656 but built in the 1500’s style. Its upper part is supported by two Tuscan style columns with composite capitals supporting the architrave with its intermittent cornice at the centre of which there is a scroll. A valuable bronze crucifix can be found above the Alter. At each side of the Alter there is a painting restored in 1985. The Alter was commissioned by a certain “Magginio plebeian” of no further identification. It was used as a model for the other four Alters built in pairs on both sides of the nave between 1659 and 1790. The first Alter, on the left, was built in 1790 and was dedicated to the Saints Agate and Catherine. The one opposite, on the right side of the nave, dating back to 1657 was dedicated to the Saints Anthony and Phillip Neri. The second Alter on the left was commissioned in 1659 by the Fiaschi family (a noble family from Tizzana) whose crest can be seen at the base of the columns at each side of the Alter which in 1747 was the subject of minor modifications.

The last Alter, on the right hand side is similar to the opposite one on the left and was dedicated to St. Mary. In 1756 several modifications and additions were made to the interior of the Church by the then Parrish Priest Montordi who added amongst other things the Confessionals at each side of the nave. On the right hand side of the nave there is a 19th century pulpit carved in Serena stone as is also the Baptismal Font. Immediately above the inside of the front door there are the Choir and an organ dating back to 1797. On the outside left of the Church there is the Brethren Oratory built in 1536 and dedicated to “Corpus Domini”.

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