Hermitage of San Bernardo

Place of worship with an ancient flavour

Eremo di San Bernardo (St Bernard’s Hermitage) was erected on a rise that allows it to visually dominate the Lumezzane valley. It is a simple structure with a rustic character consisting of two sturdy wall sections that support the central round arch and the gabled roof in exposed wood. The simple entrance door of the church is framed by graffiti decoration in the plaster, which also extends around the two small windows that allow a view of the interior. After climbing the wide staircase and crossing the threshold at the top, there is a compact space of great simplicity clearly showing the irregularities of the structure, which has adapted as much as possible to the irregularities of the stone on which it is built. The single nave is divided into two bays by a transverse round arch supporting the simple gabled roof made of exposed wood that was clearly rebuilt in modern times. On the left side of the holy arch is the door leading to the robust bell tower that characterises the exterior of the church. The presbytery of the church, with a quadrangular plan, is the artistically richest place in the entire temple: characterised by a simple cross vault in masonry, several 15th-century frescoes can be seen on the structure which, although damaged by the wear and tear of time, still give an idea of the commitment and taste that inspired them. They consist of four large figures depicting the Evangelists. The right side shows traces of the original decoration, where the lunette in the upper part has survived: it depicts a beautiful Madonna holding Baby Jesus.