Behind Viale Europa again…

I continued my investigations of what places lie behind the Viale Europa this Monday morning and came across another stunning church – that of Lammari.

The church of Lammari was originally dedicated to St. Mary and St. John the Baptist and now is dedicated to San Jacob and Mary. It was first mentioned in a parchment of 904 preserved in the Archbishop’s palace at of Lucca. The establishment of the Parish of Lammari is attributed to Bishop Frediano, the Irish monk who is buried in Lucca’s basilica of San Frediano.

The church, built in a marshy place, as the name indicates (mari=marsh), was enlarged in the twelfth century, in the middle of the fifteenth and in the eighteenth century when the whole building was heightened, a new chancel built, a dome added and a pediment and pilasters placed on the facade.

The chapel of the Holy sacrament was built in 1848.

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Inside the church I found many important works of art: the Altar of the Sacrament (1496-1501), the great Luccan sculptor, Matteo Civitali’s, Holy water stoup (1504), and a painting depicting the Madonna and Child with St. Nicholas, St. Bartholomew and St Anthony Abbot, attributed to Agostino Marti.

The old organ, built by Domenico Cacioli (1681), was used to build a new one in 1918. The state of the organ is now described as “deplorevole.” What a pity!

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The whole interior is very expansive and rather wonderful. It’s a great pity that this church, like the one in Marlia I’d visited earlier, and probably many more, is not better publicised, just because it’s not in Lucca itself.

On the façade there are three panels from the sarcophagus of the priest Lieto, sculpted in the late twelfth century (and placed in front in the fifteenth century during the re-construction of the facade) by Marco Lunardi from Como.

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The bell tower is of stone in the lower part while the upper part is in brick.

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I’d sung in a choir in this church and the acoustics are very good. It would be great to use this church for music again.

I wonder what I’ll discover next time I lurk behind that Viale Europa?

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