CHURCH OF SAN GIOVANNI BATTISTA DEGLI ALMADIANI
THE HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION
It was built in 1510 by the will of the protonotar of Leo X Giovanni Battista Almadiani, moved by the desire to allocate a convent and a church to the order of the Carmelites in his city. The realization of this project was entrusted to the architect Bernardino da Viterbo who, in what later became one of the most typical representations of the Renaissance architecture of Viterbo, envisaged an internal articulation in three naves divided by peperino columns and the decoration of the lateral surfaces with pilasters embellished with Ionic volutes. On the entrance portal overlooking via Cesare Dobici, with an architrave and surmounted by a lunette once decorated with a glazed terracotta depicting the Madonna with Child and angels attributed to Andrea della Robbia and now preserved in the Civic Museum, stands the marble statue of St. John the Baptist and you can still read the 1515 engraving which commemorates the year in which the construction of the facade was completed. On the sides of the entrance, in two raised niches, there are two marble statues depicting St. Peter and St. Paul. The upper part of the facade, joined to the lower level by volutes decorated with roses, is dominated in the center by an oculus. After a first collapse which occurred in 1918, the convent was completely destroyed during the 1930s of the same century. In the same period the sacristy with its beautiful wooden lacunar ceiling was destroyed, under which ran a band painted with the images of the Evangelists attributed to Baldassarre Peruzzi. The subsequent changes, which took place in the road layout of the area where the church stood and which led to the creation of Piazza dei Martiri d’Ungheria, via Marconi and via Ascenzi and the covering of the Urcionio, directly involved the structure: the bell tower was demolished, later replaced by a new tower always with two-tone bands; a false apse was built in place of the choir, which was in turn destroyed in the 1950s for the construction of the architraved portal which now serves as an entrance. The liturgical furnishings, which previously adorned the church, are now kept in other structures within the city: for example, in the rooms of the Civic Museum of Viterbo you can admire the terracotta bust, modeled by Andrea Della Robbia, depicting the Almadiani .
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