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San Silvestro Church in Bevagna

San Silvestro Church in Bevagna

The Church of San Silvestro overlooks on the picturesque square of the small village of Bevagna; it is a graceful example of  religious architecture and a compendium of the Romanesque style features of this place. 

Established in 1195, as stated in the inscription located at the entrance, the church of San Silvestro shows an incomplete façade, which was likely to be composed of two overlapping orders and be crowned with a bell tower, like the Church of San Michele, on the other side of the square.

Under the horizontal frame, which is decorated with reliefs depicting various hunting scenes, dragons, human busts and animals, there are three windows: a mullioned window at the center and other two on the sides.

Twin marble columns recycled from an older building support the central mullioned window, which is richly decorated with plant motifs; the other two windows are positioned on twisted columns, whose bases consist of upside-down capitals. 

The beautiful inset portal is decorated with grapevines and fighting animals.

The interior, simple and austere, yet monumental, has a central nave and side aisles separated by squat columns. The half-barrel vault roof of the central nave, unusual for an Umbrian religious building, is noteworthy.

At the end of the nave, the presbytery is raised over the crypt, small and mystical, with a unique room with two columns supporting the groin vaults.

The town of Bevagna and the Church of San Silvestro served as background and movie set of the third film by Luciana Cavani dedicated to S. Francesco, which was broadcast on Rai Uno in 2014.

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