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Treia Sanctuary of SS.Crocifisso

The “Santuario del SS. Crofisso” raises harmonious and solemn around a kilometer from Treia, immersed in the nature, along the county road to Saint Lorenzo.

The origin of the church is unknown, but certaintly hails from a far away époque. The most ancient documents are of XIII century and conserved in the archives of “Accademia Georgica”. In the III-IV century Treia had her first Christian church. The archeological excavations of  XVIII century thanks to Fortunato Benigni and, in 1985-88, to “Istituto di Archeologia dell’Università di Macerata”, have confirmed the centuried tradition that the first Christian temple, called Pieve, is raised with the transformation of a pagan temple. The decay of the Roman Empire power signed also the destruction of the ancient Trea.

The Pieve, however, wasn’t abandoned and remained the most important in the land until the end of XIV century. At the beginning of XV century, the church title and her baptismal font were moved to the new Pieve, inside Montecchio. From this time the ancient Pieve gained a new popular devotion as Sanctuary dedicated to “SS. Crocifisso”.  The architectural complex has two building of different époque, separated by the bell tower, high 41 meter: on the left the Church (XX century), on the right the Monastery (XVII-XVIII century).

In 1902 an impressive fire destroyed the ancient temple. In 1905 began the works for the actual Sanctuary, consecrated in 1925. The façade was completed in 1954, the marbled  dais in 1961, the chorus in 1990. The sacred building reflects the époque of his construction:  Neo-Renaissance style with details in Art Nouveau of the end of XIX century and the beginning of XX. Cesare Bazzani realized the project with Angelo Biscarini, Luigi Bucci, Albino Candoni. The façade of the Church isn’t the real work of Bazzani, however his disciple, professor Armando Farabollini of Treia, has managed to contain the original idea of the architect. In the frontal part, the rose windows, the small archways and the portals are allocated harmoniously and decorated with decorations of “terracotta”, shaped by the roman sculptor Paladino Orlandini.

The dome, high 42 meter, dominates all the building. It is an high octagonal tambour with four three-light windows. Eight ribs that divide the surfaces towards the lantern, pierced by eight archway windows. The apsis is of three aisles with semi-spherical vaults that rest on eight columns, four in each part, with decorated capitals and bases.

The decorations are: lilies, thorns, grapes, wheat, ivy, crux, cord and motto of prayer in the five plagues of Crucifix. The bright dome is supported by four strong columns; in the pennons on the background of gold mosaic, there are four big angels with the wings whom place the foots on jellyfishes that represent the heresies; they enfold a book where are the words: Via, Veritas, Vita, Lux, referred to Christ. All the central aisle converges to the  marbled gallery that conserves the Crucifix. At the entry, from the central door of the church, there are two “terracotta” columns created in 1906 by Angelo Biscarini of Perugia and projected by the engineer architect Cesare Bazzani.

On the two lateral aisles are placed six chapels. In the first chapel, on the right, there is a big painting of an unknown author (XVII century) that represent the Saints Antonio Abate, Emidio, Biagio, Isidoro. The third chapel, gift of the countess Marianna Luzi, reproduces the cave of Lourdes, and it has finished in 1921.

On the right aisle, next to the entry, there is a  wooden gold statue, (the end of XV century, or the beginning of XVI century), that represents Saint Patrick, patron of the city.



In the first chapel on the left, over the confessionals, there is the painting of “San Pacifico da San Severino Marche”, made by the painter Lazzarini from Pesaro (XIX century). On his right wall, that of “Beato Pietro da Treia” (reproduction of Ferruccio Furlani, 1917). The second chapel is dedicated to “Saint Antonio di Padova”, on the left wall there is a painting of XVIII century with the “Saints Anna, Maria bambina, Ludovico Re di Francia, Elisabetta d'Ungheria e il Beato Pietro da Treia”; in the bottom part there is the emblem of the city. In the third chapel there is the wooden statue of Saint Isidoro, recently made by the sculptor Santori of Grottamare. Continuing to the end in the left aisle, you arrive to the door that guides to the chapel of Saint Francesco, where two headstones remind the fallen of Treia during the two world wars.

From 1989 there are also the remains of Father Ciro Ortolani. An headstone, on the right, reminds his merits. The bronze medallion is made by professor Wulman Ricottini.

From the presbytery you can access to the sacristy, where are collocated some beautiful furniture

plated in walnut from the end of XVI century and the first half of XVII century. From the sacristy you can access to the courtyard. The quadrilateral of bricks, bright, has been started in the second half of XVII century and ended in the first half of XVIII century. The Franciscan came here in 1671, as guardians of the Sanctuary, required with insistence from all the citizens, and they are remained here until now. 



Various finds of Roman Age, found in different times, are been collocated at the entry of the monastery and on the wall of the bell tower. Among them, two precious Egyptian statues, one male royal statue and one female of a queen, or a priestess, rediscovered during the demolition of the bell tower of XVI century. Today, instead of them, there are the copies, while the originals are conserved in Archeological Museum with other important finds rediscovered in this area.



Over the central rose window there is a big ceramic panel with angels whom venerate the lamb, made by professor Farabollini, as also the ceramic lunettes that decorate the three portals: San France­sco d'Assisi (on the left), Cristo in gloria (in the centre), S. Anto­nio di Padova (on the right).

The lateral salient of the façade are decorated with emblems of regional county seat; the same decoration is on the external walls of the church until the aisle, on which are represented the emblems of one hundred Italian cities.



Made by an unknown author in XV century (some experts see on it the art of Donatello), it is a wooden polychrome sculpture with perfect proportions. The Christ is erect and not abandoned, with his head reclined on the right and the overlapping foots, fixed to the crux with a spike. It is high 180 cm and it is large 170 cm. The beautiful face of the Crucifix (for the tradition sculptured by angels), has three aspects of the Christ martyrdom. Seeing it on the left, expresses the pain of agony; in front of it the Christ that offers himself; on the right the serenity of death.



At the right of the sanctuary entry, in the second chapel, is conserved a fine fresco that represents Saint Sebastiano (XV century) of an unknown author.



It has been enriched, at different time, by an interesting pictorial series about the life of  Saint Francesco di Assisi; the style of the frescos highlights the age of realization, the XVIII century, and also the various authors whom have contributed to his creation.



From the presbytery you can observe the organ pipes of the company “Zanin di Codroipo (Udine)”, built by the famous tester Mae­stro Ulisse Mattey, exclaimed: "Sulla terra non esi­stono opere perfette, salvo l'organo del SS. Crocifisso di Treia" (On the heart don’t exist perfect works, except the organ of SS. Crocifisso di Treia). This instrument is linked to the memory of “Padre Pietro Carlucci”, a member of Minor Franciscans, whom participated to the planning and many times made there memorable concert.



Some years ago two mosaic flooring are been discovered in the monastery of SS.Crocifisso: the first with geometrical decorations, the second with a figurative decorum.

Of it remains just the left half of an emblem in a double black frame and a part of the mosaic with white pieces that surrounded it.

The pictures, in a white background and untie among themselves, are naturalistic: at bottom left there is a tree with a bird among the branches, on the top a ibis towards right and in front of it there is a part of another floral element. In the centre there is the inferior part of a black dog that runs toward left. The mosaic has polychrome elements; the pieces are rather small (about 1 cm) and are put horizontally in the emblem and obliquely  in the frame.

The wading bird on the top – an ibis- is the only element of sure recall of the Nile area and Egyptian cults: it is bent, ready, to peck something in the soil and this position makes him similar to the hieroglyphic “gm”. The ibis is typical of the Egyptian iconography and of the “Serapeo” in Ostia, together with water plants: the ibis belongs to the painting repertoire “egittizzanti” in the landscape current, on which we can see also an image similar to Treia. According to what we know from the frescos of Ercolano, the ibis were bred inside of the Egyptian temples, where clearly, besides to being a sacred element, had to recreate the environment, sometimes with other animals represented by sculptures.  


“Un movimento della strada, una fontanella e si era arrivati ai Zoccolanti. E lì il profondo di Treja, ma io non lo sapevo. Dopo la fontanella ecco nella sua grossa mole il chiesone del Crocefisso. Con chiunque io fossi, quel chiunque faceva una piccola sosta e guardandolo diceva: "È del Bazzani".

 A me non importava di chi fosse, a me pareva che fosse cosa da città, non da campagna... Una volta dentro un cenno a un frate, quello accendeva delle luci, tirava un velo e si vedeva Gesù, in croce colorato come se fosse vero. Noi si stava già alla sua sinistra a guardargli gli occhi Sì, sì, sono aperti, spalancati proprio no, ma socchiusi, però è vivo. Passavamo a guardargli gli occhi di fronte. Sono tanto tanto socchiusi tra le palpebre c'è una fessurina come un rigo di penna; agonizza. Passavamo a destra, gli occhi erano chiusi, è morto. Quel gioco miracoloso mi interessava, ma passava presto, quello per cui avrei voluto restare in chiesa tutto il tempo che volevo, erano gli stendardi. I monti rendevano omaggio al Crocefisso, su ogni stendardo la sua figura e il suo nome... Non m'incontrai mai né col Monte Bianco, né con quello Rosa che pure incontravo a scuola sulle Alpi. Probabilmente quelli degli stendardi erano monti di quelle parti, monti conoscenti del Crocefisso...

Lo zio andava spesso "a Fraticelli", così lui diceva... si creò in me un' idea vaga come se quei luoghi fossero stati nei secoli passati, naturale rifugio per santi ribelli, per santi fuori legge. Quel pezzo di Marca dov'è Treja fu ospitale per i Fraticelli che, tutto sommato, erano frati a double face: per alcuni eretici, per altri santi.

A Macerata e nelle terre vicine, lo spirito francescano aveva attecchito puro e cresceva senza innesti; erano terre per Fraticelli. I Fraticelli di Treja, eremiti del Clareno, stavano in luoghi appartati, vestiti poveramente, più poveramente vivevano; vivevano con la fede nella fede di Gioacchino da Fiore; erano tutti spirituali; volevano riportare il francescanesimo alla primitiva letizia. La curiosa denominazione restava da secoli a testimoniare la vitalità che ebbero a Treja i Fraticelli. Mio zio non aveva certo lo spirito dei Fraticelli, ma il loro carattere sereno e lieto sì. Che una bambina sentisse quanta ragione aveva la gente che per quello lo ammirava, di quello parlava, è segno che la sua serena letizia era veramente fenomenale... Del resto anche lui era fatto come tutti di tanti cartoccetti come le dalie. Nel suo fondo, nel centro del fiore, c'era anche un lieto Spirituale: per pochi soldi, per un pugno di grano, andava cosi contento a elemosinare”.

Da “Giù la piazza non c’è nessuno” di Dolores Prato

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