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Keywords

sarcophagus
Canonesses Regular
Pontianus
San Ponziano
sarcophag
spolia
Umbrien
Perugia
Spoleto
Utrecht
Umbria
Italy
crypt
Balderic of Utrecht


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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. As the relics of San Ponziano (and maybe more martyrs) were kept here. So there are a couple of old sarcophagi. This one may be the oldest.

Here are the same symbols that I had found carved onto sarcophagi in the crypt of the Concattedrale in Narni and in the Abbazia di San Felice.

In 966 Bishop Balderic of Utrecht travelled to Rome. On his way, he visited places, from which he obtained relics for the for churches of his diocese. Here he obtained one of Pontianus' arms. So Pontianus is patron saint not only of Poleto, but as well of Utrecht.

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