Wonder  }  Place of worship

Temple of St. Tome

A small and wonderful temple surrounded by greenery

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Where is


Via S. Tomè, 2, 24030 Almenno San Bartolomeo BG, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

This small temple is located in Almenno San Bartolomeo, in the province of Bergamo. With its rounded structure, it stands out isolated among green fields. When you cross its threshold, you find yourself in a world carved by lights and shadows that intersect on the ground, on the walls, and on the tall, thick columns of the nave that become increasingly slender in the women's gallery. Its secluded location suggests that in the past there were necropolises in this area (as evidenced by the 1988 discovery of a 1st-century B.C. tomb).

Why it is special

It stands on ancient Roman tombs and because of where it is set, it seems to harken back to times past with their religious pilgrimages, holy wars and mysterious legends. The building takes its inspiration from the Temple of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, where Christ is thought to have been buried. In its structure it has typical elements of Romanesque architecture, and on the interior walls are wonderful frescoes, including an Enthroned Madonna and Child (to the left of the entrance) and an Annunciation in the women's gallery. On the entrance door, however, bas-reliefs are carved.

Not to be missed

One of the characteristics of the temple is the presence of many references to the solar cycles of the seasons, which were meant to remind us of the connection between man and nature. One such reference, perhaps the most scenic, occurs during the equinox, when the sun's rays strike the altar tabernacle.

A bit of history

Its final construction dates back to the period of the Middle Ages. During the 12th century, due to wars and lack of care for the temple itself, it became a sort of ruin: this made it necessary to build it anew; in fact, only the foundations of the original structure remain of what we see today. At the end of 1100 -on the initiative of the episcopate of Bergamo- a small women's monastery was also founded, united with the church itself.

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