Tourist Attraction in Como: Basilica di Sant'Abbondio
The basilica of Sant'Abbondio is a Romanesque church in Como. Next to it stands a monastery built in the Middle Ages, which today, after being restored, hosts the faculty of law at the University of Insubria. The Basilica was built on the site of a pre-existing early Christian church dedicated to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, built by Amanzio, who died in 448, the third bishop of Como after Felice and Provino, and predecessor of Abbondio, current patron of the Diocese of Como. From a trip to Rome, Amanzio reported some relics of the apostles Peter and Paul and for them he built a new church, about 1000 meters outside the walls, beyond the Cosia River along the Via Regina. The basilica was dedicated to Saint Abbondio and elevated to the cathedral in 1818. He served as the seat of the bishopric until 1013 when the bishop Alberico, former chancellor of Emperor Henry II, transferred it into the walls. The building was then entrusted to the Benedictine monks who, between 1050 and 1095, rebuilt the Romanesque church. On 3 June 1095 the new basilica was consecrated by Pope Urban II. The basilica has fourteen columns very slender. To develop the sense of height and verticality also contribute to two remarkable twin bells in the absidial area, a rather common solution in the Rhineland area, but exceptional in Italy. The proximity of the city to the alpine valleys - important ways of communication with the Oltralpe - guaranteed a reciprocal influence of the Romanesque expressed here and beyond the Alps: similarly, the strong verticalism of the interior of the basilica is explained. It also shows the vitality - even at the beginning of the second millennium - of the late-ancient tradition (especially in the façade, in which both the buttresses and half-colon waves show the internal partition of the aisles). On the portals and around some of the windows there are some sculptures. The interior of the church is a multitude of columns made up of stone hinges and surmounted by a large variety of capitals, from the simple ones that recall the two basic geometric shapes: the cube and the sphere to the Corinthians or those decorated with free motifs. The church also houses Romanesque bas-reliefs and a full set of frescoes from the mid-14th century. Under the altar there is the patron saint's relics. The structures of the early Christian basilica, discovered during the restoration work started in 1863, are still marked on the floor of the church with dark marble slabs, while in the ancient openings there is a place of light marble.