Oratorio di Beleo
Beleo - 42034 Casina
How to get there:
It's about 5 km from the administrative capital
From Casina you take the town road in the direction of Migliara, from here you continue on the left following the directions for Beleo.
The exact year of the foundation of the oratory is unknown, it appears cited starting from 980 in an imperial diploma in which Ottone II confirms the properties of the Reggio Emilia church.
The present day construction, instead, would appear to have been erected in the XI century under Matilde di Canossa(s authority.
In 1070 the chapel appeared amongst the possessions belonging to Bonifacio di Canossa;
In 1302 the church, cited as a parish, was subject to the Campiola parish.
In 1575 the church was declassified to the level of chapel and was united to the nearby parish of Gombio.
It's slow deterioration began back then, culminating in 1751 with the partial collapse of the roof, various restorations were done over the years but weren't terminated.
In 1944 an air raid caused serious damage which made further restoration necessary, which was soon begun.
After the second half of the XX century the oratory was completely restored thanks to the involvement of the National alpine Association section of Reggio Emilia, which obtained the permit from the bishop to make it their "Alpine Church".
The construction, made of squared stone, has a hall shaped plan facing east. the sloping façade has an upper single-slit window cell and archivolted lunette portal bearing the epigraph incision by Don Francesco Milani: "CEU PMONICA ULTRO EX OSSIBUS ET MEDULLIS RENATUM BENIAMIN REGIEN EPUS FAUSTA RECONCILLATIONE LUSTRVIT - VII KAL. JUN. A. SAL. MCMLII".
The roof is made of roof tiles placed on double layers.
To the inside of the façade, on the right side there's the vaulted bell tower made of two pilasters connected by an arch;
On the southern side there's a two slit window finely adorned and surmounted by a series of rhombs. An ashlar bears the sculpted date "MCCCCIII xxxx";
On the apse, the only remaining original part of the construction, of refined elegance, there are three single slit windows.
Under the cornice which defines the eave line there's a series of saw-edged ashlars forming a fascia overlooking the design of the small monolithic arches formed by the two lateral pilaster strips.
The small imposed capitals are carved with anthropomorph depictions and different geometrical designs.
The inside, with sandstone slab floor, retains an ideal reconstruction of the antique altar, done by the sculptor Scorticati.
Last update: March 7, 2023