significance of the Sanctuary
three-nave church represents a medieval religious view of the world
in which material objects were deemed illusory, and only the Divine
and Transcendental as true reflections of the real world. Symbolizing
Christianity, the impenetrable fortress was seen as shielding the
righteous from external threats. The southern portal is a magnificent
example of Romanesque architecture, with the sculpture of Christ
above the altar portrayed as the Judge of the World, flanked by an
Evangelist on either side. The painted cupola, depicting the
Creation, is the largest remaining Romanesque fresco in existence.
Of interest to art
historians, is the man hidden under a hood; a self-portrait of the
The crypt beneath the high choir dates back to the 12th
Century; the statue of St. Candidus (patron saint of the monastery)
erected around 1240.
The San Candido
Crucifixion Group is one of the most significant High Medieval
religious works of art. Dating from the mid-13th
Century, the Christ after the Resurrection is portrayed as the Son of
God. After conquering suffering and returning from the dead, Jesus
appears radiant and victorious. The head of a Mongol beneath the
Saviour’s foot represents the vanquished invader. This portrayal is
in sharp contrast to the martyred and suffering Christ of the late
Middle Ages. Rating: A unique work of art of that era.