English

  • Henrik Haupt

Earthquake church: Beautiful decay

Updated: May 23


Beautiful decay in this abandoned church in Italy

A few years ago, this church's area was hit by a huge earthquake and aftershocks the following days. Unfortunately, when I was driving around the area, it became really clear how hard it had been for the local community. Because in this city there were many ruins after the earthquake. The local community stood together and saved what could be saved from the various historic buildings shortly after the earthquake.


I visited a few different places in the city, all of which had been abandoned due to the earthquake.

It was more obvious than others that they were affected by earthquakes in some places, but if you walked through the buildings, you could see clear signs, such as long cracks through masonry and floors that had difficulty keeping up by themselves.


The church here was, without a doubt, one of the places that were most affected by the earthquake. Unfortunately, there was not much left to build on. Due to the long history, I think the goal will be to rebuild it at some point. At my visit, I could see that some safety measures had been taken on the outside of the church.

Beautiful details in the abandoned church

The history

The church was built in 1425 and was named after a watermill in the area.

In the 17th century, it was built larger and got new decorations.

Above the altar was a large beautiful painting, which was commissioned by the local community to thank for the end of the outbreak of plague in 1631.


The church lost a large part of the roof, and the walls were badly damaged.

It has made room for nature, shrubs and trees that can grow wild in the old church. The fine old chandeliers that still hang in the church and the benches are a beautiful contrast to the nature that is taking over.

The chandeliers still hang in the abandoned church

It was not exactly challenging to get inside the church. The challenge was more in making sure I was not standing too close to the cracked walls and avoid not have the last of the roof falling over me.

It is daily a sad reminder of what happened a few years ago for the citizens of the city.

As I stood there myself inside the church, looking around at all the details, I could not help but be sad at the loss of the city, of all the historic buildings. A reconstruction of the affected buildings in the area, unfortunately, is a complicated project. Several places, I would say, is impossible without tearing them down and starting over. But the locals have been skilled enough to have several of the historic buildings rebuilt and repaired, which otherwise seemed to have lost the battle against the earthquake.

But today, there are still several buildings awaiting their further fate. I will probably come back to the same area again later and see how the development has been.


I made a short video at my visit:

Another beautiful place I visited in Italy is this old theatre Teatro Guido Here I sat for some time on the old chairs waiting for the sun to rise, so I could take pictures in the beautiful morning sun.