grafico grafico

Saint Giusto in Caipira



Foundation: VIII secolo
District/Location: Capannori, località Marlia
District: Piana di Lucca
The church of Saint Giusto in Caipira, considered by some to be the oldest religious construction in the territory of the diocese of Lucca, still maintains large portions of construction dating back to the early Middle Ages.
Chiesa medievale di San Giusto alla Caipira, 55012 Capannori LU
Despite the first document concerning it from 987, large portions of the church of San Giusto alla Caipira are undoubtedly datable to at least the previous century, as is probably the general layout of the building. With a single nave with perimeter walls slightly converging towards the bottom (a perspective "trick" to visually increase the extension in depth of the building), the unity of the interior space of the church is punctuated by the step that divides it into two planes equivalent squares. The single apse is equipped with a single-light window and decorated with a theory of hanging arches with double-arched archivolt. From the constructive point of view, the oldest parts of the building are undoubtedly the flanks, where an alternating masonry of small, roughly squared drafts and rows of river pebbles arranged in a fish bone are in place: for this type of technique constructive it must be assumed a dating within the IX century, but more probably in the VIII. This dating dates back to a carved slab evidently reused in the apse area: it is a monolithic one-light arch decorated with a woven vimineo ribbon, a so-called "Solomon's knot" - both in simple and double version - and a cross with slightly patent arms . In an unspecified age but that it is possible to place between the late 11th and 12th centuries, the façade and apse of the church were rebuilt also reusing elements from the previous structures: they are perfectly consistent with this dating both the masonry technique to ashlars squared placed in work with regularity, both the lean decorative elements of the shelves that support the hanging arches of the apse. The façade has probably also recorded subsequent interventions, as evidenced by the irregularity of the wall texture of the wall: it is certainly a later addition to the rectangular window placed above the entrance portal. Recently the privately owned area of ​​the church has been the subject of a controversial building intervention which, according to many scholars, may have negatively affected the stability of the structure. In any case, the deep break-in that was carried out against the right side of the church to cast the foundation of the new construction that was to be erected has irreparably altered and destroyed the archaeological stratification of an area where it would probably have been possible to find interesting evidence.
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