Cellino San Marco. Chapel of San Marco or Church of the Cemetery

Cellino San Marco. Chapel of San Marco or Church of the Cemetery

The chapel of San Marco was the first nucleus built by the Basilar monks upon their arrival in Cellino San Marco.

it had annexed a small monastery that housed the monks.

It was in operation until their departure and then abandoned.

The present church is therefore the result of a total reconstruction in the 17th century and was completed in 1716.

The façade is made of two-coloured stones that highlight the square lines of the building.

Above the entrance door there is a niche for the saint and two small bell towers are placed at the sides of the tympanum.

A certain softness is found in the external side wall where there are two large arches to introduce light to the structure.

A legend tells that it was San Marco himself who rebuilt this church.

In fact, a statue of the saint was found on the site and he would have appeared to passers-by several times asking them to bring a boulder of tufa to build a new church.

The statue of the saint is found on the façade of the church.

Inside is the statue that every year is carried in procession during the feast of the patron.

In the church there is a beautiful specimen of a Baroque altar from 1716 built according to that of the ancient Capuchin convent of Manduria.

The altar has two twisted columns that support the upper part, where there is a painting of the Madonna, and it is a blaze of leaves, flowers and cherubs.

Among the caryatids we can recognize the figures of Saint Lucia and Saint Susanna, once very venerated in the village.

Today the altar is polychrome and the use of colours creates a striking contrasting effect with the bare stone walls of the church.

At the sides of the altar two doors open and the ornate shapes of the upper part can be seen with two statues of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul.

The church is located at the entrance to the monumental cemetery of Cellino San Marco.

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