Tourist Attraction in Potenza: Chiesa di Santa Maria del Sepolcro
The church of Santa Maria del Sepolcro is a place of Catholic worship of Potenza. The church was built between the last years of the twelfth or early twentieth centuries in the order of the Templars. Indeed, in those years, between 1190 and 1191, the Counts of Santasofia Rivischio lords, lords of a district near Potenza, participated in the third crusade and returned to the city building the place of worship. In 1647 the bishop of Potenza Monsignor Claverio was sent on apostolic journey by Pope Innocent I to Grumento. The bishop was particularly impressed by a relic of the blood of Christ here preserved and decided to take a part he held for himself for a long time. The church and the convent have always been entrusted to the Franciscan Order of the Friars Minor. In the nineteenth century the convent was suppressed because of the annulment of religious congregations. In 1938 the Franciscan order of minor brothers took possession of the church and convent. There are many theses that seek to explain the origin of the church name. A first hypothesis states that the Guevara, counters of the city of Potenza, decided to build their tombs in 1488. Another thesis states that the name of the church derives from the name of a "Saint Sepulcher" cottage, owned by the Templars, and located near the church in the 14th century. The main façade has a three-arched front porch with jambs, capitals and archived stonework, ending with a cornice and a hammock roof with a central rosette. The main façade was in the past flanked by a bell tower that was demolished in 1959. The main entrance is made up of a porch with stone moldings, topped by a seventeenth-century fresco depicting the deposition. The porch has two side portals of exquisite workmanship and a central wooden portal finely carved with floral and geometrical motifs of 1500. All is framed by limestone with a Franciscan coat of arms and a nobleman. Internally, the church is divided into two naves. The left is the oldest and was built during an extension of the church in the seventeenth century. The ceiling of the church is praised by the chromed wooden chest of drawers in carved wood carved by Bishop Claverio. Always Bishop Claverio erected the great baroque altar decorated with stucco of the Blessed Sacrament, located on the right of the nave. It has a golden door that holds the relics of the Blessed Sacrament. They were always home to the relics of Christ's blood in the years that he found himself in Potenza. The altar is decorated with a statue of the Virgin on a throne with the Child on the knees, all surrounded by two winged angels. The statue should date back to a period dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries and should have been constructed by a Lucanian artist known as "Maestro di Noepoli". The Church also welcomes many fabulous paintings: a canvas oil representing the Madonna delle Grazie with St. Francis and St. Patrick, another painting depicting the Madonna that appears to Saint Francis and Rocco, and a painting depicting Adoration of shepherds. On the right is the altar that holds the relics of the Most Precious Blood. Pope Francis on the 460th anniversary of the arrival of the relic has granted plenary indulgence.