Religious Places

Convent of San Domenico in Taggia

The convent, located on the left of the village, before entering the built-up area, in an elevated position, almost dominates the plain, in front of the Castellaro bridge. The convent complex of San Domenico consists of the convent and the Gothic church dedicated to Santa Maria della Misericordia. In 1468 Beato Domenico Cristoforo from Milan called in Lombard "mastri da muro" and stone masons: the Bunichi, Calvi, Da Lancia and Carlone families, who were joined by local workers who learned a great deal. The construction lasted about twenty-seven years and was inaugurated on August 8, 1490. In 1468 the first religious settled in the convent, which soon became an important centre for the cultural, spiritual and artistic development of the city and was for three centuries the main centre of culture, where a library was also active, necessary for the training of preachers and sufficiently rich in spite of the abandonment and spoliation at the end of the 19th century, in which manuscripts and miniatures were reproduced. The church, restored in 1935 in its original gothic lines and recently restored again, presents a façade decorated with late gothic elements among which a portal edged with grey stone surmounted by a pointed arch, in the middle of which a marble bas-relief represents the Pietà. A geometric design with vertical lozenges and stylized leaves links the arch of the door to the central window; the tympanum is decorated with small hanging arches along the two slopes and with a central oculus. The irregular Latin cross plan is flanked by ogival chapels; the three internal naves are decorated with black and white ashlars in the ribs of the vaults and in the arches of the side chapels. The church has valuable decorations by Giovanni Donato da Montorfano, while the decorative apparatus and the works of art clearly show the influence of the Flemish, Lombard and Genoese school. The paintings that adorn the interior, with 12 altars, represent in fact a meeting point for artists of different origins and constitute a centre of art of primary importance. In the church you can admire several paintings by Ludovico Brea such as the triptych of the Annunciation, the Madonna of the Rosary, the triptych of Saint Catherine of Alexandria (1483), in the Curlo chapel the polyptych by Ludovico and Antonio Brea depicting the Baptism of Christ (1495). The convent has a splendid 15th century cloister: the cloister, square in shape, is covered by twenty columns from the Benedictine convent of Santa Maria del Canneto. In the relative lunettes, frescoes have been recovered under a coat of plaster, painted between 1611 and 1615, depicting episodes from the life of San Domenico by Alfonso di Pietro (1613) and Gio Batta Merulo (1613). Adjacent to the cloister are the refectory and the Sala del Capitolo, where there are two frescoes of the Crucifixion by Giovanni Canavesio.

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