Rotonda di San Tome, Almenno San Bartolomeo

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The Rotonda di San Tomè is a church in the comune of Almenno San Bartolomeo, in the province of Bergamo, Lombardy, Northern Italy.The church has a circular plan and is in the Lombard-Romanesque style, dating from the early 12th century, and dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle.HistoryThe church was built in the district known in ancient times as Lemine. The date of its construction is uncertain, as well as the existence of other churches on the same site, as it is known a reconstruction was carried on between the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century. It has been speculated it could have been originated in Lombard times (7th-8th centuries), while other scholars assign it to the subsequent Frankish conquest of northern Italy, when the area was under the counts of Lecco.It has been hypothesised that the Rotonda was built over the remains of a Roman temple, but archaeological investigations have found no sign of this. They have shown that a centrally planned edifice was present here in the 10th century.This edifice had decayed in such a way that in the early 12th century the bishop of Bergamo decided on its complete reconstruction. Only the foundations and the columns and capitals of the former building were re-used for the ground floor. The columns were extended with reversed capitals at the base or by adding pieces of other columns. Around the end of the 12th century a presbytery and an apse were also built. In the meantime a monastery was added to the church, with nuns coming especially from the wealthy class of Bergamo. This monastery was suppressed in 1407; only the foundations and minor parts of the buildings can be seen today.
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  • this is a small church, out in the middle of practically nowhere in this heavily populated area of Lombardia. which is to say: it sits amongst agricultural fields, not far from a couple of farmhouses....  more »
  • This church is probably the most beautiful church of the Romanic era that I have seen. It's round form is truly original and though it is very small it is very scenic. Although it is not always...  more »
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