The ceremony begins with a mass and a reading from the Bible of the Passion of Christ. When the funeral procession is mentioned, the congregation exits the church to begin their procession through the streets of the old hilltop town. The parade is led by a penitent in a black gown, wearing a black hood and carrying a large cross. A young girl portraying the Virgin Mary follows. Mourners are clothed and veiled in black come next. Some of them carry the symbols resting on scarlet cushions. They include: a crown of thorns, a whip, nails, a hammer, tongs, and St. Veronica‘s shroud.
Bellinzona is probably Switzerland’s most Italianate town. Therefore, it is not surprising that it has tons of churches. Being the idiot that I am, I was still surprised that such a small town had so many. Being a trading center, Bellinzona drew people from all over, including religious folk. There are many churches and convents in the area. The local tourist office has even developed a walking tour that covers some of the highlights.
Piazza Collegiata (also known as Piazza Grande) is one of Bellinzona’s center squares, When you step into Piazza Collegiata, your eyes are drawn to its elegant, imposing Renaissance church. Its rich baroque interior is incredibly ornate. Perhaps because it isn’t very large, the Collegiata dei Ss. Pietro e Stefano somehow manages to be intimate, even cheerful.
Dating from 1424, was largely rebuilt by Tommaso Rodari from Maroggia. He was the master builder of Italy’s Como Cathedral. Just around the corner, toward the path to Montebello, you pass ancient church buildings.
The 14th century oratory of San Rocco is known for its frescos of St. Christopher and the Virgin Mary with Christ. These frescos are 20th century restorations, but the Chiesa di San Biagio has some originals. The Church of San Biagio in Ravecchia, known as the red church, also has frescos.
The walk from Castello di Montebello to Castello di Sasso Corbaro provides a stunning view of the Chapel of San Sebastian (Chiesa San Sebastiano). On a hilltop with the alps derriere and the vineyards in front, it is sunning.
- Bellinzona’s Strategic Location (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)
- We Had Fun Storming Bellinzona’s Castles (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)