Oratory Of San Giovanni Battista

Via Roma


The Oratory of St John the Baptist is located along the ancient road that connected Cusio with Ornica, on the edge of the saddle of the pass and in front of the plain where for centuries the woodcutters produced charcoal. The church, which was transformed into today's oratory, has been documented since the Middle Ages. The layout of the Romanesque building, with a beautiful stone portal, small windows for soft, diffuse light, a slight gabled roof and a bell tower proportionate in height and slenderness, is common to the ancient churches of the Upper Valley. The interior has a simple, squared-off hall and two steps lead up to the presbytery with its groin vaults.
The cycle of frescoes decorating the triumphal arch and the presbytery is very beautiful, with simple scenes, spontaneous descriptions and fresh images. They are the work of Cristoforo Baschenis, known as 'il Giovane' (1561-1626), one of the many fresco painters in the valley, and were painted in 1583. On the triumphal arch is the Annunciation and on the presbytery scenes from the life of St John, as well as figures of St Mary Magdalene, St Margaret, St Francis and St Anthony. Along the nave there is a fresco of a beautiful Madonna with the name of the offerer and the year 1581. The predella, the only remaining part of the ancient altar, is an inlaid work by the local artist Antonio Rovelli (1640-1710), as is the sideboard in the sacristy.


Included in the itineraries : The Land of Baschenis and Rovelli
Guided tours by appointment

Information at:
Altobrembo, Tourist Office ex Segheria Pianetti
Via Roma, 53, 24010 Olmo Al Brembo BG