Minori



Straight after Maiori there is Minori. In the past it called " Regiana ", but subsequently it took the epithet of " Minori " in consideration of the neighbouring town, which being bigger, it was called " Regiana Maior ". Minori was famous for its Arsenal and shipyard and it became a diocese because of Pope John XV in 987. It was a rival of Amalfi " for its picturesque site, its beach, its industries and its oranges ", so that the doges of the Republic often stayed here and some of them are even buried in the Cathedral. Once, Minori, had as industries the whitening of painting, the tanning of hides (1524 ), a large turnover of salt pork meat etc; today ( 1881 ), it offers writing paper and kneading dough, in fact, they are the leading, as dough producer, on the Amalfi Coast. Very frequent are the export of citrus, almost every day, from these place to Naples, Rome, Bologna and not only even to England, Holland and U.S.A. ,in this case they are sent in crating. Minori is crossed by a little river called " Farinola " or " Reginnolo ", its source is over Ravello. Very important is the event of Sergio ' s imprisonment, the second bishop of Minori, from the Salernitano Prince Guaimario IV " a very wicked man and enemy of these populations ". Segio bishop was freed at the cost of money and after short time he died. 11 April 1597, Minori was devastated by a storm. The seawaters reached the principal church and took away the public square and most of the vegetable gardens. Among calamities that this village had, there were the plagues of 1492, 1528 and 1656 years which spread death and terror. The village overlooks a little beach encircled by a wonderful public garden, in it there is a fountain with lions of the half of XI century. The cathedral, dedicated to S. Trofimena, was rebuilt in XIX century, now its interior is large and well-lighted with a nave and two side aisles, separated by pillars which form four passages for each sides and in level with them there are chapels. Very interesting is the marble pulpit of 1616. Through two stairs, which start from the balustrade of presbytery, one enters in the original side of the cathedral: " the crypt ". The minor basilica with a nave and two side aisles, was rebuilt in the '700 and has on its altar an alabaster urn sculptured in the 1722 by Gennaro Ragozzino, it keeps S. Trofimena mortal remains. Along the stream, near the sea, there is the roman villa built at the time of Augusto. It was discovered in 1932 and brought it completely to light between 1950 and 1954. It has two-storeys, the first is covered by a vault while the second, probably, by wooden beam floor. The villa is encircled by a garden with a swimming- pool at the centre. The fourth side is occupied by the nymphaeum, it is decorated with stuccoes, frescoes and mosaics of Pompei style. An archaeological curios are the funerary urns, carved with the usual motif of putti, swags and scroll ornaments, they can be found in many churches of the Amalfi Coast adapted as holy waters, columns, capitals and marble pieces. St. John the Baptist of Piezulo church, at present called St. Little John or " at sea ", was built in 1420 by Brancia family of Amalfi and it was facing the public square of the village. Today the church is annexed in a complex of houses; outside it has a simple door and a little ovoid window with a grating, above it a little span with a bell. At the interior the rectangular plan is separated from two structures which hold up a round arch dividing the area of the altar from that reserved to the believers. The covering is formed from two barrel vaults: one is in a horizontal position in the area of the altar, the other in a longitudinal position. The top floor is used as habitations. The feature of this church is decidedly country so, it is became an integral part of the village. St. Lucia church, in " At the Fiumara " resort, was built in X century with the Benedictine monastery. Towards the end of the XII century the church was halved and without trace of the old walls. In 1520 thanks to the lay brotherhood, the monastery was restored in determinative way with a sixteenth century style. It has only a nave covered with barrel vault. The area of the altar, with a square plan, has a bowl dome with high tambour in which opens four windows. The interior has a wooden choir, two holy waters, a baroque wooden altar and St. John Palumbo tomb of 1621 in white and dark marble. On a rise called " Villamena " there are Saint Gennaro, Saint Giuliano and the Madonna of the Graces churches called today Saint Mary of the Rosary: On the front door of the Saint Gennaro church there is a frescoes which represents the Madonna. Its interior, which probably goes back to the 1754 and has a Baroque style, has a nave and two side aisles with eight pillars. The central nave is covered with barrel vault while the side ones with cross vault. Sideways to the pillars of the altar there are two columns with acanthus foils. Near to Saint Gennaro church there is Saint Mary of the Rosary church, it has a nave covered with barrel vault, the apse has a high altar while two other altars are on its sides. The Baroque decoration is richer than Saint Gennaro church. Outside the dome has eight niches and four of these have window opening, they functions purely as a decoration . At the end of the dome there is a lantern. The Campanile of the Annunziata is in the place of the same name, today it has few houses among lemon trees and vineyards. The church which, for a few time did services like mortuary chapel, in the 1950 it was completely knocked down because of many cracks in its walls. Through the ruins of the church there are: two apses, fact unusual because, generally, on the Amalfi Coast they are with three-apses and an anchor with some frescoes which portray Saint Michele and that may be dated to the XII century. Many religious or civil buildings have, on their outside walls, a polychrome decoration in tuff mixed with bricks and terracotta; its effect was simply and came from the tone contrast between two kind of stones. The polychrome decorations with tarsia can be found also on the walls of the medieval Salerno , for example on the quadriarcade, on the bell tower of the Cathedral, Terracina Castle and Fruscione Palace; other monuments with the same kind of work can be found in different places as Eboli, Caserta, Calabria, Sicilia, Lazio and obviously on the Amalfi Coast. The technique used for the tarsia working was that of spreading a coat of white stucco which became the bearing of the composition. Then, one drew on it the drawing with a technique which reminds to the frescoes painting one and while it was still wet. At this point, one put in the suitable sections the elements of yellow and grey tuff to form, so, the beautiful decorative compositions. Evidently the drawings were kept in cardboard boxes but it is also possible that the ideas for the compositions raise at the moment. Decoration with tuff marquetry can be found on the fašade of patrician houses, on churches and bell towers. In this period, the same sacred buildings were built above all by private noble families who want to commend their soul to God and win in sumptuousness and generosity the other rival noble families. Near Minori there were many churches and monasteries which don' t exist more as: Saint Salvatore church, in Paradiso resort on the border of Ravello, consecrated in 1120 by Orso of Affitto and Costantino Rogadeo bishops; Saint John the Baptist church, in Marina resort, gave, in 1144, from cavanese cenoby to Stefano bishop of Minori and consecrated in 1144; Saint Nicola church built in the XI century on the Forcella mountain by Don Mauro presbyter of Forcella, who gave his surname to the place; in the church there was Andrea Vaccaro' s picture, a very important Neapolitan painter, which portrayed Saint Nicola. At the west suburb of Maiori, near to the sea, there is a large and deep cave, called of the " Annunziata ", formed because of the terrible tremor of 3 January 1117. At the end of XVI century, inside the cave, was built a church dedicated first to Saint Mary of Cripta and then to the Virgin SS. of the Annunziata and a little hospital for invalid. In the XVIII century a breaker knocked down the door, destroyed the hospital and made the roof of the church give way. Today very little remained of the church, only an aedicule with a big frescoes, on its frontal, which reproduces the Madonna of fishermen.




La Casa del Melograno
Via le Porpore, 5 - FURORE - 84010
(SA) Costa d'Amalfi

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