Church of Santa Maria Assunta

Itinerari nel Rojale

The parish church of Santa Maria Assunta, built in the eighteenth century, is located at the center of the village, dominating the surrounding square and accessed via an imposing staircase.

Scholars believe that a primitive church dedicated to Santa Maria existed prior to the 13th century, but the first written evidence dates back to 1353 when Rodulfus de Quals – associated with the Savorgnan lineage – left various lands in legacy for the celebration of the anniversary of his death. This building was expanded under the management of Pietro Fanzio, the church's camerarius, in 1456, as indicated by the inscription on the external wall of the north apse. It was completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1511, as evidenced by the plaque on the exterior wall in front of the bell tower of the current church.

Rapidly rebuilt, the church was then expanded in the early 18th century, and in 1712, the bell tower was erected along the south side, also equipped with a clock, a work by Tomaso Cignino from Artegna. In 1863, a tornado caused the collapse of the facade, which was rebuilt within the following year, as indicated by the inscription to the left of the entrance door. In 1889, a sacristy was built at the back, and in 1906, the church was entirely expanded, assuming its present appearance.

Between 1950 and 1964, further works were carried out in the church, including the construction of the chapels of the Sacred Heart and Saint Anthony, the reconstruction of those of the Addolorata and the Immaculate, as well as the construction of the stone access staircase.

The earthquake of 1976 severely damaged the church, particularly the bell tower, which was demolished due to serious injuries and reconstructed on the opposite side of the building, detached from the church's body. The post-earthquake restoration, completed in 1986, involved consolidation interventions on the walls and roof, rebuilt with metal trusses, as well as the restoration of the interior.

The neoclassical-style facade of the church is characterized by Ionic semi-columns resting on a high plinth and topped by a triangular pediment with a central oculus. The linteled portal is completed by a cornice.

On the north side, besides the aforementioned plaque relating to the earthquake of 1511, there is an entrance door to the nave next to which is the wall-mounted holy water font supported by a carved hand and dated 1702. On the south side, the sacristy is attached, accessed through a door surmounted by an elaborate frame.

The rectangular nave of the church has a sanctuary connected by three steps and a semicircular apse. To the left of the entrance, within the space enclosed by a wrought iron gate with elegant volute motifs dated 1719, there is an eighteenth-century baptismal font in black marble. Alongside it, there is the large stone basin that served the same function in previous centuries.

Adjoining the wall is an eighteenth-century grisaille painted by Giovanni Battista Tosolini, depicting the Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity. It was detached from the right wall of the entrance following post-earthquake renovation.

The flooring consists of square slabs of marble arranged in a diamond pattern with various shades of gray. The space, illuminated by rectangular windows, is punctuated by composite-style pilasters surmounted by a modulated cornice. In the side walls, there are marble altars from the mid-20th century, with wooden statues dedicated to Saint Anthony and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and those dedicated to the Madonna of Sorrows and the Immaculate, retaining eighteenth-century altars.

In the apse, the late eighteenth-century marble main altar, the work of the stonecutters Valle from Tricesimo based on a design by Simone Pariotti from Udine, features sculptures of Saints Peter and Paul on either side of the central body, which incorporates a small canvas depicting the Assumption by Giovanni Battista Tosolini, surmounted by the sculpture of the Redeemer Christ (late 18th century).

On the back wall, there is an eighteenth-century fresco depicting the Sacrifice of Isaac, and at the intersections of the sails, there are the roundels with the Evangelists.

Following the restoration work after the 1976 earthquake, frescoes depicting scenes from the Old Testament by the painter Gianpaolo Thanner from the 1530s appeared on the walls of the nave: the Creation of Eve, the Expulsion from Paradise, and the Universal Flood on the left wall, and above the left side door, the Resurrection of Christ; on the right wall: the Annunciation, Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman, and the trial before the Sanhedrin.

Above the door leading to the sacristy, an angel armed with a sword surmounted by cherubs. Inside this painting, there was a pointed-arch window with a painted intrados and frame.

The frescoes on the nave ceiling depicting the Assumption carried into heaven by angels and episodes of the Temptations of Saint Anthony are the work of Carlo Boldi from the 18th century.

Of note is the large eighteenth-century brass chandelier hanging from the center of the nave ceiling and, on the counter-facade, the organ from the workshop of Domenico Mal