Chiesa Arcipretale di Santa Maria Annunziata

The church stands majestically in the main square of Mel and was built between 1756 and 1768, the work of architect Filippo Rossi from Feltre. The building, a fine example of the neoclassical style, has an impressive flight of steps in Castellavazzo stone.

The following words are painted on the portal "DOM tacta fulmine turritem plum vetustate sui et aliena ruina labefactum vicani pie concordes stipe conlatarestituerunt anno a partuvirginis MDCCLXVIII" to the Almighty God after the bell tower was struck by lightning (the old bell tower was destroyed by a flash of lightning on 17 April 1756), the inhabitants in agreement collected merciful donations and rebuilt the church destroyed due to the old age and ruin of another building in the year of the Lord 1768).

The interior has a single nave with pilasters along the walls and a vaulted ceiling with windows in the lunettes, and is separated from the presbytery by a cross vault and marble balustrades. In the top part of the nave the four major prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and Ezekiel, are painted in hexagonal stucco frames, the work of artist Giovanni De Min (1786 - 1859).

The vault features the largest work of art in the church, a fresco dated 1851, again by De Min, which depicts the coronation of the Virgin. The paintings on the walls of the choir and the covered vault in the apse are by the same artist, namely the crucifixion on the right and the parting of the Red Sea on the left, as well as the fresco depicting the flight to Egypt. Above the portal at the entrance is an oil on canvas of the Nativity, attributed to Lino Dinetto, a contemporary artist from Ferrara; he also produced the four frescoed evangelists in the cross vault in the apse. Along the sides of the Church are six marble altars, three pairs each with the same shape, size and marble.

Starting from the entrance on the right, they are dedicated to the Crucifixion and the Holy Trinity, to the Blessed Virgin of Carmel with an oil painting in the centre attributed to Francesco Frigimelica, and to the Holy Family with an altar-piece by Luigi Cima, an artist from Zumelle who produced the bulk of his work between the end of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century; on the left hand side, again starting from the entrance, is the altar of St. John the Baptist with an altar-piece attributed to Cesare Vecellio, Titian’s nephew, the altar of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, with a painting attributed to Fabrizio Vecellio, Cesare’s brother, the altar of the Blessed Virgin of the Graces with a painting attributed to Giovanni da Mel, brother of Marco who painted the frescoes in the main hall of the Town Hall. The high altar is made of marble and of particular note are the two statues, said to be the work of sculptor Giovanni Marchiori of the school of Andrea Brustolon, depicting the Annunciation.

The altar-piece, an oil on canvas of uncertain date, portrays St. Andrew between St. Rocco and St. Sebastian. There is some uncertainty as to the artist as well, some scholars attribute the work to Schiavone, others to Girolamo Denti, who worked with Titian, and others claim it is actually by Titian himself.

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Chiesa Arcipretale di Santa Maria Annunziata

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Piazza Papa Luciani Borgo Valbelluna 32026 Mel di Borgo Valbelluna

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