The Church of Saint Michael the Archangel

Outside the monastic walls there were two churches that existed since the Middle Ages, with different functions: the Church of San Michele Arcangelo and the Church of Santa Maria dell’Ospitale.

Thev Church of San Michele Arcangelo, situated to the North of the Abbey, near the present cemetery, was founded by the abbot Teodorico (870-887), and it soon became a parish Church which took care of the souls of the inhabitants of the town that had settled around the Abbey. The abbot Rodolfo (1002-1035) establisched a rectory within its walls, thatis a community of clerics that lived togher, and which is documented up to 1396. The appearance of the building as see it todayis the result of many reconnstructive interventions, which took place especially in the eighteenth century, when the old crypt was closed. In the Twenties of the last century Mons. Ferdinando Manzini promoted its renovation, following the example of what was being done for the Abbey Church, but the renovation involved only the apses. The Crypt was never reconvered. The present facade follows the style of Baroque architecture, with three doors and a large central window. The main apse and the one on the South date back to the XI century and have the typical Romanesque appearance of the apses of the Abbey Church. The main apse is decorated by six pilaster strips, marked by corbels that mark a series of small niches. Originally Romanesque are also the three upper double-arched Windows and the other three that lighted the crypt. The interior of the Pieve of San Michele shows the plan of a basilica with three aisles. The presbytery, elevated by five stepsfrom the floor of the Church, was lowered during the last renovation (1985). The many funeral inscriptions testify how the Church was used by the community of Nonantola over the centuries. Among the painting that decorate the altars, the following stand out: the Annunciation by Giulio Secchiari (Modena around 1575- Sassuolo 1631), on the first altar of the Southern nave, and the Madonna with Child and Saints Francis from Assisi, Anthony abbot Anthony from Padua, by Francesco Stringa ( Modena 1635- 1709).

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