chiesa-san-cassiano-controne credit: bagnidiluccaterme.info

The church of San Cassiano di Controne is the first historically documented church in the Lima valley.

There are documents attesting its existence dating back to 772 in the period of the last Lombard king Desiderius. In the “Charta promissionis” document, the priest Urisperto (son of Vuilifrido of Controne) promises to Bishop Peredeo of Lucca not to act against them nor against the priest of the baptismal church of Santa Giulia, nor to sing mass in the church of San Cassiano without a license from the bishop or the priest of Santa Giulia; he also promises to give them two rams each year on the feast of San Gervasio. The Bishop Peredeo of Lucca was the authority that gave the dimissory letter to be ordained as priest and had appointed Urisperto rector of the church of San Cassiano in exchange of obedience to the sacred canons.

In the document the Church of San Cassiano is remembered as a church that has existed for some time. After this document we find no trace of the church of San Cassiano until the first survey of the diocese of Lucca written in 1260.

According to the majority of scholars the church should date back to the end of the 11th century and the beginning of the 12th century. A dating aid comes from an ornamental element inserted in the facade: a ceramic basin from the Islamic world, probably Tunisian, that depicts a falconer on horseback, a very unusual iconography.


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