Sant'Eufemia, Spoleto

Sant'Eufemia is a notable Romanesque church in Spoleto. Built in the 12th century over a Lombard palace and overlooking the Piazza del Duomo, it is famed for its unique women's galleries high above the nave. It is no longer used as a church and can only be accessed with admission to the Museo Diocesano next door.

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History of Sant'Eufemia

Sant'Eufemia was built in the 12th century on the site of an 8th-century Lombard ducal palace, incorporating spoils from that palace as well as earlier Roman monuments.

What to See at Sant'Eufemia

The east end of Sant'Eufemia can be seen from the stairs leading down to the Piazza del Duomo. The three tall apses that protrude from this end of the building reveal its unique interior design. The west facade, at the entrance to the church, has a single central portal.

There is very little decoration on the exterior or interior, save for some small hanging arches beneath the eaves. The interior is barely lit by the narrow Romanesque windows.

The highlight of the church is the architecture of the nave, with its two-story side aisles and tall apses that stretch the full height of the church. The arched galleries were used to segregate women from the men, who worshiped in the main nave below. This configuration is the only one of its kind to survive in Umbria.

Other notable details include a brightly painted fresco of God the Father high up in the apse, older murals on some of the pillars, and two pillars (presumably from the ducal palace) carved with Lombard motifs.

Quick Facts on Sant'Eufemia

Site Information
Names:Basilica di S. Eufemia · Chiesa di Sant'Eufemia · Sant'Eufemia
Country:Italy
Categories:churches
Styles:Romanesque
Dedication: St. Eufemia
Dates:12th C
Status: museum
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:42.734830° N, 12.738583° E
Address:Via Aurelio Saffi, 13
Spoleto, Italy
06049
Phone:0743-2310
Website:www.museiecclesiastici.it
Hours:Mar-Oct: Mon-Fri 10-1 and 3-6; Sat-Sun 10-6
Closed Mondays in winter.
Lodging:View hotels near Sant'Eufemia
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. Personal visit (April 19, 2008).
  2. Museo Diocesano e Basilica di Santa Eufemia - Musei Ecclesiastici Umbri
  3. The Rough Guide to Italy 7 (May 2005), 651-52.
  4. St. Eufemia Church - Bella Umbria

More Information

West facade. © Holly Hayes
View from gallery. © Holly Hayes
Nave looking east. © Holly Hayes
Pillar with a fresco of a saint. © Holly Hayes
Apse fresco of God the Father with angels. © Holly Hayes

Map of Sant'Eufemia, Spoleto

Below is a location map and aerial view of Sant'Eufemia. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.