Basilica del Santo Sepolcro e Cripta
The Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher stands along the Via Francigena and according to a legendary tradition the church was founded by Queen Matilde of Westphalia, headed to Rome with a caravan of mules laden with gold to build a sanctuary dedicated to the Holy Sepulcher. In Acquapendente the mules would not not “budge”, kneeling and refusing to leave, and during the night the queen had a dream that would have induced her to implement her project in this place. The building dates back to the 10th century and was originally in Romanesque style and belonging to the Benedictine order, with attached convent. The current appearance of the church is the result of numerous interventions: the facade dates back to the 18th century and is the work of Nicola Salvi (architect of the Trevi Fountain in Rome), then partly modified due to the damage of the last war. On the façade is reproduced the bust of Pope Innocent X Pamphili (the original by Alessandro Algardi is kept in the Museum of the City), which is responsible for the transfer of the diocese to Acquapendente, after the destruction of Castro. Internally, the church has a Latin cross plan with 3 naves, the presbytery is raised to make room for the crypt below. The crypt is of the “a sala” type, built on 24 columns on which the cross vaults rest. It holds a SACELLO that is still today a pilgrimage destination, being the oldest copy in the world of Jesus’ sepulcher.
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