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Church of St. Flavian

Church of St. Flavian

The town is situated on the top of a hill and commands a panoramic view of the surrounding area, and the church of the city dominates Lake Bolsena. Montefiascone is an important farming town which is also very well known for its wines and as a popular holiday spot. The most important building in the town is the church of St Flavian, a peculiar Romanesque construction built in the 12th century by Lombard master builders on top of an older edifice. There are some important 13th century frescoes in the church, including the rather unsettling "Meeting between Three Living and Three Dead Men". Another important monument is the Church of Sant'Andrea (St Andrew). The front entrance is Romanesque and, inside, the church columns are topped by striking capitals. In addition to an interesting heraldic coat of arms, the walls carry a 14th-century engraving in which Montefiascone pledges a peace pact with its neighbouring towns. Other interesting places to visit include the churches of St Francis and Santa Maria di Montedoro (1526) and the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie (Our Lady of Mercy) with its ancient image of the Virgin Mary which dates back, perhaps, to the 12th-14th century. The main town church is dedicated to Saint Margaret and is a solemn construction begun in Renaissance times after an architectural plan attributed to Michele Sanmicheli (1519) and then continued in the second half of the 1600s under the direction of Carlo Fontana who built its famous dome. The Rocca dei Papi (the Papal Citadel) is probably of Etruscan origin, though it was fortified by the Romans and later offered hospitality and protection to Popes and cardinals. In 1506, Pope Julius II ordered Antonio da Mugello to carry out some modifications which added a flowing elegance to the fortress and turned it into a centre of culture. Every August, the town holds its Wine Fair during which a procession is held through the town in commemoration of the German nobleman John Defuk who died on his way to Rome in 1113 after imbibing a good deal too much of the delicious "Est! Est!! Est!!!" wine.

 

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