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The church of san Rocco

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In the course of the centuries, Locorotondo has had two churches dedicated to the Saint from Montpellier; the first one, datable to the 16th century, and the second one, the modern day one, dating back to the 19th century. The historical presence of this church demonstrates the strong devotion of the local population towards San Rocco, creditable of having saved the inhabitants of the town from the plague, which hit Fasano between 1690 and 1691. Since that time, San Rocco was elected protector of the town, distinguishing him from the saint patron (san Giorgio) and great honours and  celebrations were bestowed upon him regardless.
In 1804 the pre-existing sacred building was knocked down, in order to erect in the same spot a new, greater, central plan building. The design was by Michele Campanella, an architect native of Locorotondo, who took his inspiration for the new building from the classic shapes of the Pantheon in Rome. At a later stage, in 1872, the front part - which inside coincides with the choir - was extended by a few metres.
The current façade looks very simple; it is characterized by cornices and pilasters. The only elements which stand out from the linearity of the façade are the two roundish pilasters which mark off the entrance, shut by a bronze portal with scenes of the life of the saint. The spandrel, surrounded by a serrated cornice, homes in its centre the statue of the saint to whom the church is dedicated to. The interior of the church is perfected by lively chromatic touches and by stucco decorations, as well as by an interesting sculptural and pictorial heritage of great effect. As a matter of fact, none of the heritage of the previous church has been preserved, except for the stone statue of san Rocco, which was located on the altar of the previous church, and now it is placed on the top of the lantern on the outside.

Info
The church is always open and it is easily accessible.

Bibliography
Guarella, G. (1985), La storia di Locorotondo nel manoscritto di Angelo Convertini, Locorotondo, Amministrazione Comunale di Locorotondo.
AA.VV. (1990), Ricerche per una storia di Locorotondo, a cura della Cassa Rurale Artigiana di Locorotondo.
AA.VV. (1991), Guida di Locorotondo, a cura della Cassa Rurale Artigiana di Locorotondo.

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