Key to Umbria: Orvieto

Sant’ Angelo (1828)  

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This was the site of one of the oldest churches in Orvieto:

  1. A monastic community apparently administered a hospice here in the time of Pope Gregory I (ca. 590) [reference ??].

  2. A lost document apparently recorded that Teodoro, an inhabitant of "Castri Urbb.", gave the oratory of Sant' Angelo to the Abbazia di Farfa in 767.

A small room built in tufa that was discovered near the apse in 1933 has been dated to the 5th or 6th century. 

There is an interesting fragment (9th century) incorporated into the right side of the church above the external door at the side [which leads to the sacristy?].  This probably came from the original church.

A fragmentary inscription that is now in the sacristy is dated 834 AD, in the reign of Pope Gregory IV.

A church that was built here in the 11th century, which had the privilege of a campanile and a baptistry, was recorded as a possession of the Abbazia di SS Severo e Martirio in 1297.  It gave its name to one of the rioni (districts) of the city in the 12th century.  An inscription in the sacristy records that it was restored and enlarged in 1333.

An inscription records that Cardinal Bartolomeo Pacca, who held the Abbazia di SS Severo e Martrio in commendum, commissioned the rebuilding of the church on 1828, and that Cardinal Bishop Antonio Francesco Orioli (1833-41) consecrated it in 1838.  (This inscription says that a church dedicated to St Michael Archangel has existed here since the 7th century).



The interior has a rectangular barrel-vaulted nave with two side chapels on each side, culminating in a semi-circular, domed apse.

The supposed relics of SS Severus and Martirius, which were originally in the Abbazia di SS Severo e Martirio, were moved to Sant' Angelo in 1613, presumably for greater security.  They were placed in a new reliquary, and the high altar that was restored in order to receive it.  The old reliquary was unfortunately destroyed at this point.  An attempt was made to steal the reliquary in July 2011, but the stolen objects were, fortunately, recovered.


The oldest part of the church now serves as the sacristy - where is it???

It contains frescoes (15th century) attributed to Pietro di Nicolò Baroni.

[Madonna and Child enthroned with saints (15th century)

This damaged fresco of the Madonna and Child with SS Severus and Martirius is in the sacristy.]

Return to Monuments of Orvieto.

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