This tiny church lies in the heart of Carbognano’s medieval town and is an example of a bailey church. It was built in the eleventh century – together with the Castle. It is interesting to observe that the church’s entrance is situated on the round wall – which is usually designated as the apse. The story goes that Giulia Farnese ordered such a peculiar arrangement in order to make it easier to reach the churc from the Castle.
Carbognano, Church of Santa Lucia
Bibliographic references speak of the small church of Santa Lucia as one of the oldest in the village. Already mentioned in the 15th century, in reference to the reconstruction works of the castle of Giulia Farnese, the church is to be reported probably between the 13th and the 14th century “by the fedautario who had in feud Carbognano by the Camera Apostolica”, as reported by Innocenzi (R. Innocenzi, Carbognano 2001., p. 23). Mentioned as the seat of the confraternity of the disciplined, at which the body had its own chapel dedicated to Saint Lucia, it remained so until the sixteenth century, when the disciplined also known locally as the confraternity of the whip or Saint Lucia, transferred its headquarters to the church of Santa Maria della Concezione, joining the Archconfraternity of the Gonfalone of Rome (1580). The present conformation of the entrance of the church with a curvilinear/absidal facade, is probably to be referred to the original development of the church, once presumably occupied by the apse. The original entrance had to be on the opposite side to the present one, or on the side, this suggests that the construction phases of the castle and the village itself, probably led to a natural development of the small building that required the entrance positioned in the curvilinear wall of the apse. Therefore, here is explained the particular circular shape of the current facade of the church, absolutely not referable to any baroque phase as it could refer to the curvilinear aspect. The local legend tells that Giulia Farnese wanted the church to have its entrance directly from the side of the castle. Among the ancient churches existing in the village (Church of Sant’Angelo, Church of San Vincenzo, Church of San Pietro), it is the only one that survived in time occupying the same position since its construction. Just its location intra muros, associated with the proximity to the castle of Giulia Farnese, have characterized the epitome of the church of the castle of Carbognano (R. Ceccarelli – O. Tartarini, Carbognano, Carbognano, ieri, oggi, domani. Civita Castellana, 1940. p. 23).
The facade presents itself in its curvilinear form with a simple peperino door characterized by a trilithic structure surmounted by an equally simple square light placed at the center of the surface that allows the illumination inside. The only decorative element is given by the small peperino cross placed in the door, in the middle of the architrave.
Two steps lead to the interior, which is a small hall completely devoid of decorations and with a trussed roof. On the left wall, a wall closet is the only surviving piece of furniture in the room with three simple benches in the center of the room. A little further on, a square window allows more natural light to enter the small room. In the flat apse wall, an 18th century painting with the Martyrdom of Saint Lucy, still testifies to the population’s attachment to Saint Lucy perpetrated for centuries. The people of Carbognano seem to have always been devoted to the Saint, and this would be testified not only by the ancient church, but also by the confraternity that bears her name and has existed since ancient times. It is also thought to how in the last church built, that of St. Peter the Apostle, it is wanted to dedicate a chapel to Saint Lucia. In fact, a canvas depicts the moment after her martyrdom, with the Saint holding the palm of the martyrs in one hand and a chalice with her eyes on the other. The high altar is now reduced to a simple table with a few furnishings. In the right wall survives a window plugged with a lowered arch and a lowered arch plugged, residual works referable to the openings, once existing in the ancient core of the church.
R. Innocenzi, Carbognano 2001, p. 23.
R. Ceccarelli – O. Tartarini, Carbognano, yesterday, today, tomorrow. Civita Castellana, 1940.