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Sant’Agata Complex

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The group of structures dedicated to Sant’Agata (St Agatha) is in the street of the same name near the town’s archeological site. It is composed of a small ancient church, only the portico of which remains today and the convent commissioned in 1395 by the Benedictine nuns who lived at the Church of St Paolo Inter Vineas. When this dwelling place became unsafe, the nuns had to transfer inside the city walls, where they lived in private houses belonging to the Corvi family that one of the nuns had inherited.

Some decorative bas-reliefs are still visible on the walls of the structure, dating back to the 11th century; they show the ravens that were a symbol of the family. In the sixteenth century, the complex was enlarged and partly modified. A beautiful fresco, attributed to an anonymous Spoleto artist from that period can be seen on the back wall of the refectory depicting The Last Supper and Christ Praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. In 1886 the convent was taken over by the newly formed Italian state and the nuns, forced to abandon their headquarters, devastated the complex causing extensive damage to floors and windows before moving permanently to the monastery of Santa Lucia di Trevi, in 1965. From 1870 to 1954 the building housed a women’s prison while today it is the National Archaeological Museum. The small church annexed to the convent, which was built close to the pre-existing Roman theater, preserves only the portico consisting of three pointed arches on columns from the 11th century.

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