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Chiesa di San Gregorio Magno and Oratorio della Morte

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The church of San Gregorio Magno, which contains the precious Oratorio della Morte, is located just after the entrance to Via Giulia, on the left. Known as the ‘Chiesa della Morte’ (Church of Death), it was built in 1573, while the ‘Confraternity of Death’ was founded in 1550: this order was responsible for burying the dead and had originally been located in the Oratory of Sant’Antonio.

The ‘new’ oratory was built in the early 17th century on the initiative of Don Giovanni Jacobieri and is accessed via a 17th-century door along the right wall of the church: this bears the coat of arms of the Diamanti family. The community bore the cost for the construction of the oratory and therefore the interior decoration, including busts of saints, sibyls and prophets, were commissioned by the wealthiest families of Spello; the work is dated 1604 and is attributed to an anonymous Baroque painter.

The exterior of the church was originally plastered, while today it is in Subasio stone, widely used in all buildings in Spello. There is no record of the Renaissance project and only a decoration with the tympanum of a classical temple in the attic remains. The interior has a rectangular plan, with three late 16th-century altars displaying several works, including an Annunciation from 1591, a Transito di Sant’Andrea dated 1789, an 18th-century choir and a 19th-century statue of Christ Resurrected. The entire complex was restored and reopened for worship after the earthquake of 1997.

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