Church of St. Sebastian - Panicale
The church of Saint Sebastian in Panicale was built at the end of the fifteenth century by the local community, next to a hospital dedicated to the treatment of plague patients - a lazaretto or lazar house - with a cemetery for the burial of the plague victims. The church, located about 250 meters outside the walls of Panicale, at the end of the Borgo Regio, is a modestly sized brick building, with a square facade covered with plaster. Originally the building had a portico of which two arches remain, left free from the plaster. The phrase engraved above the access portal – ECC(LESI)A S(ANC)TI SEBAST(IAN)I C(AST)RI PANICALIS – informed visitors that the church belonged to the town of Panicale and was dedicated to the saint invoked against the plague. The interior was covered by a gabled roof, with visible wooden trusses; it was modified in its present form in 1623. The church interior is decorated with capitals, cornices, two altars and two choirs.
Outside, in the upper left, there are two terracotta tiles bearing the dates 1690 and 1725, while in the external part of the garden there is the date 1692. It is very difficult to interpret these three dates. It is assumed that the date 1690 is the year in which the Nuns took possession of the building thanks to a bequest from Monsignor Paolo Corsetti to the Collegio delle Vergini. The date 1725 could refer to another bequest to the Collegio. The last date, 1692, no doubt refers to the construction of the boundary wall on the initiative of the Nuns of the Collegio.
Above the side altar within the church is a canvas of the Madonna delle Grazie, attributed to Antonio Pomarancio. But on the back wall is the church’s most famous work, the fresco of the Martyrdom of San Sebastiano by Pietro Perugino, the greatest Umbrian painter of the Renaissance.