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Canonesses Regular
San Ponziano
conical pillar

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Spoleto - San Ponziano

Spoleto - San Ponziano
Pontianus was a young Christian of Spoleto, who at the age of 18, was condemned to death and beheaded on 14 January 175. His body was buried in the outside the city walls. Later an oratory was built over his tomb. He became - and still is - the patron saint of Spoleto.

A convent developed that was described within the 10th century as "cenobium beatissimi martyris Pontiani; sacratissimum cymiterium".

Benedictine nuns lived here upto 1810, when the monastery was suppressed by the Napoleonic government. Mid 1900 century the buildings were owned by the commune - and sold to a private investor in 1899.
Meanwhile the basilica and the monastery is operated by a community of Canonesses Regular.

The church of today was built between the 11th and the 13th century. It still has the Romanesque Facade with a central oculus surrounded by the symbols of the Four Evangelists, but the interior got remodeled in a Baroque style in 1788.

Most important for me, was the crypt of San Ponziano. Finally I had found the light switch and could see the crypt in its beauty. A nave and two aisles. At the end three old sarcophagi. The frescoes in the central apse were done within the 15th century. The pillars are probably reused Roman ones. One is based on a reused capital.