municipality: Vallada Agordina (BL)
address: località Sacchet
GEOGRAPHIC COORDINATES: 46.369528, 11.935585
- wheelchair accessibility: the entire Church
- recommended season: summer
- directions to reach the starting point: Vallada Agordina is located in Valle del Biois between Canale d'Agordo and Cencenighe Agordino on the S.P. 346 of the S. Pellegrino Pass. The church is located in S. Simon, above the Sacchet village and is visible on the southern slope of Mount Celentone, in a panoramic position.
- opening time: summer or contacting Pro Loco of Vallada Agordina
- telephone: Pro Loco Vallada Agordina 324 5906493 / 349 5483129
The area of upper Agordino boasts a real jewel of art and history which closes one of the most prolific painting series of the fifteenth century in the Province of Belluno. It was painted around 1550 by Paris Bordone, a pupil of Tiziano Vecellio.
The church houses the high altar brought from Germany which dates back to the sixteenth century, as well as other Venetian paintings and sculptures. Together with the organ of Antonio Callido from 1802 and some precious frescoes, it truly is a religious building of national importance. In the immediate vicinity is the ancient oratory of the Battuti Confraternity (the name derives from the brotherhood's penchant for self-flagellation) and its Virgin of Mercy.
The church of Saint Simon is a perfect illustration of the domesticity of the dolomitic rock from the Contrin Formation. This kind of stone was used by the renowned stonemasons of Cencenighe for the production of objects for domestic use, such as mortars, vessels, stoves, water troughs for the animals, millstones and handmills, but also more elaborate elements like fountains, architectural pediments, water stoups, kiosks, capitals and other artifacts.
The nave floor is made with planks of larch wood whereas that of the chancel and the choir are slabs of grey limestone quarried in the vicinity. Dolomite, on the other hand, can be found in the old side doorway and some elements outside. In 1877 the church is mentioned as National Monument.
There was an ancient settlement above the church which is currently separated from the rest of the village of Celat. Flanked by a cemetery, the religious edifices seem to be far away from all kind of pilgrimage or other tourist trails nowadays, enjoyed in fact its popularity as a religious centre halfway up the ridge of Mount Celentone at least since the twelfth century and tradition has it that it was a popular place of worship as early as the eighth century.
LINKS TO WEBSITES
F. VIZZUTTI, Tesori d’arte nelle chiese dell’Alto Bellunese. Agordino. Un itinerario di storia e d’arte, Provincia di Belluno Editore, Belluno 2003
AUTHOR: Letizia Lonzi, 30/04/2020