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St. Angelo di Palombaro

Municipality: Palombaro (CH)

Locality: Sant’Agata d’Ugno, at about 750 m a.s.l.

Building: The shelter has an entrance about 35 m wide and it is partially closed by a stone formation.
The remains of the church lean on a side: two parts of walls and a semicircular apse. The walls are made with squared stone ashlar; a line of Lombard bands crowns a section of the walls and the apse, and it presents a frame with a Solomonic stringcourse.
The church has a steep and irregular pavement, constituted by a stone formation. The church was dedicated to St. Angelo, and was probably built between the 11th and the 12th century, as the architectonic decoration system, similar to the one in St. Liberatore a Majella, testimonies. The building is currently entirely bare, but the testimonies remember that until the '30s there were an altar and two niches with small saints' statues. In the wall of the cave in front of the church and on a stone spur in the entrance hall, there are four dug up basins for collecting water.

History and traditions: The only information about the complex is present in an seal of Onorio the 3rd of the year 1221, where it is confirmed that St. Angelo and St. Flaviano churches belonged to the monastery of St. Martino in Valle.
The church was probably founded in the place of a former temple dedicated to Bona, the goddess of fertility. Women used to go there and soak their breasts with the water of the cave in order to produce more milk; in the christian era this cult was substituted by St. Agata, patroness of the women who had just given birth; later the dedication to St. Agata was replaced by that of St. Angelo. The last one, together with the presence of water and to the localization of the shelter inside the cave, makes many presume the existence of a cult linked to St. Michele.

Reachable with path: N° 8

Visit information: Fara S. Martino Visitor's Centre – Tel. +39.0872.980 070 – +39.339.2615405

Image of the inside of "Grotta di Sant Angelo di Palombaro"
Image of a detail of the inside of "Grotta di Sant Angelo di Palombaro"
Image of the inside of "Grotta di Sant Angelo di Palombaro"
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