Hermitage of Santa Maria della Misericordia

On a low rocky spur, at the edge of a meadow basin, stands the ancient Hermitage of Conche, also known as the Hermitage of Santa Maria della Misericordia. Founded by the hermit Costanzo, today the patron saint of Nave, in the 12th century the small coenobium experienced alternating moments of splendour and the donation of the structures to the town of Nave. Beyond a small entrance hall there is the courtyard of the complex, at the back of which are the arches of a 17th-century portico that concealed the base of the bell tower and the façade of the church, as evidenced by a fragment of a 15th-century Maestà surviving in the staircase on the first floor. Crossing the threshold of the church, on the left is a small difficult-to-access room used as an ossuary, while a little further on a steep flight of steps allows climbing up to the floor of the church. Upon entering, the strong asymmetry of the spaces is most striking, given by the presence on the left side of a single aisle built in the 15th century. From the same period is the small fresco of the Enthroned Madonna that adorns the front of the pillar separating the two naves. All the rest of the decorations, a rich and varied pictorial cycle, are the work of the Brescian painter Vittorio Trainini who, in 1958, also left works at the entrance and in the guest quarters of the hermitage.