Sanctuaries and Parish Churches
Sanctuary of Sant’Emiliano
The ancient Sanctuary of Sant’Emiliano stands guard over the town of Sarezzo and the Media Valle Trompia.
The sanctuary can be reached by four different paths that start from the municipalities of Sarezzo, Lumezzane, Marcheno and Gardone Val Trompia. A road climbs up from the Sarezzo hamlet of Zanano which allows you to drive up to 500 metres from the sanctuary. For specific information on access routes, please consult the website of GAM Sarezzo dedicated to the Sanctuary of Sant’Emiliano!
The church’s facade has an unusual shape where all the building functions coexist and emerge. A low portico entirely occupies the lower register, the middle part of the facade is devoid of any architectural character, and two simple rectangular windows ventilate the quarters of the pilgrims. The gable of the temple consists of a simple triangular tympanum supported by two angle irons.
During recent renovation works, a cross was added to the oculus to emphasise the sacred significance of the building. An ancient plaque probably added during the construction of the 18th-century portal, says that the church was built in the 1200s. Crossing the threshold, you find yourself immersed in a simple and traditional environment: the first thing you notice is the typical single-nave layout covered by a gabled roof and an airy transverse arch that divides the space with its bulk decorated by large 20th-century monochrome angels. Large glimpses of exposed stone emerge on the left-hand side between the floor and vertical walls, giving a more rustic character to the space. On the right wall hangs the large ribbed altarpiece painted by Giovan Battista Botti in 1746, depicting the saints Barnabas, Vincenzo Ferreri and Fermo in veneration of the Virgin and Child.
Recent restoration work on the temple, completed with the restoration of the terracotta floor, highlighted the foundations of the temple’s Romanesque apse, with a semi-circular profile set directly on the current holy arch. Worth noting is the large high altar, which houses the two wooden statues of Saints Emiliano and Tirso and the Madonna del Sodalto. Dating back to the 18th century, this work features traditional light-coloured stonework that defines the architectural and structural elements of the entire building, while green and pinkish marble uniformly fills the background of the surfaces in the mirrors; this work was most likely carried out after 1733, as indicated by the apparent reference to the altars of the Brescian church of San Maria della Pace, designed by the Venetian Giorgio Massari.