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St Maria della Consolazione

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Right outside the walls, in the South-West of the town, one of the Umbrian Renaissance masterpieces is located. Though no evidence of a project accomplished  by Bramante is left, the building structure does not seem to cast any doubt and, since the 16th century, has been attributed to the renowned architect. Instead, there is absolutely no doubt about the intervention of some important masters such as Cola da Caprarola, Antonio da Sangallo, Peruzzi, Vignola and Ippolito Scalza.

The building works started in 1508 and finished only one century later, in 1607. It was built to enshrine the holy picture of The Virgin with Child (Madonna della Consolazione) which is currently visible in the semcircular apse of the Church. According to legend, a mason rediscovered the remains of the fresco covered in dust and spider webs. After having wiped the sweat away from his face with the same tissue used to clean the holy picture, his eye miraculously healed.

The Renaissance temple displays a peculiar Greek cross plan resulting from two crossing equal arms. Four apses lean against them; three of them are polygonal, and the semicircular, Northern one houses the miraculous fresco. The apses, belonging to two orders and adorned with Corinthian columns have domes on top embracing ideally the terrace (where the eagles sculpted by Antonio Rosignoli in the 17th century are placed) and the majestic central dome, supported by a gable adorned with double Ionic columns attributed to Francesco Casella.

The three entrance gates date back to three different centuries: the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, whereas inside, the wide, bright Baroque structure is attributed to Filippo da Meli’s talent.

Fifty-six windows illuminate the area where the wooden statue of Pope Martin I, the plaster ones of the twelve Apostles and the Baroque altar stand out.

The Church is seventy meter high and represents one of the most renowned and significant monuments of Todi.

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