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Church of S. Carlo

Church of S. Carlo


The Church of St. Charles is located in a characteristic hamlet of Menaggio called Castello.
The church was built by Cinzio Calvi on the ruins of the ancient castle so that it could serve as a tomb for him and his wife Caterina Camozzi.

Masonry building integrated with the surrounding building fabric. It is accessed by three stone steps from a small square; it has a longitudinal plan with a nave and side chapels; it is covered with a roof with a mantle of tiles and has a bell tower with double sail, little visible; the facade, incomplete, is made of exposed stone in drafts, pebbles and bricks.

Characteristic of the church of S. Carlo is the elegant sailing bell tower in Spanish style.

The church of S. Carlo was built between 1612 and 1614 by order of the nobleman Cinzio Calvi, on land owned by him near the ruins of the Castle: it is one of the first dedicated to the Milanese Saint, thirty years after the death of Borromeo and only four years after his canonization, perhaps as a tribute to the friendship that had linked the Saint to another inhabitant of Menaggio, Castellino da Castello. Calvi also donated part of his property to the monastery of S. Maria della Passione in Milan belonging to the Canons Regular of the Lateran, so that they could assume the obligation to officiate in the new church and to reside in the adjoining convent.
For over one hundred and fifty years the Canons lived in the adjacent house, dedicating themselves not only to the service of the church, but of the entire community: they had a well built in front of their cloister from which the inhabitants of the upper part of the town, until then without water, could draw. On September 5, 1771, the rectory was suppressed by Emperor Joseph II; the church passed under the administration of the parish church of S. Stefano.

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