Origin and renovations
The ancient Church of St. Peter in Carpenedolo is located in the countryside on the outskirts of the town, not far from the road to Calvisano. It can be assumed that its construction dates back to 974, as proved by a small tombstone, now missing, found during the refurbishment of the square in front of it.
The name of St. Peter refers to other churches in Brescia which have the same name, built on the possessions of the monastery of “San Pietro in Monte” (St Peter in the Mountain) in Serle, during the Middle Ages, then went to the Bishop of Brescia.
During more than a thousand years of history, the Church underwent several renovations and now is the result of different styles.
The most important change was made in 1692. The apse, originally facing east, was demolished (probably because it was run-down) and this caused the disappearance of precious frescoes. The altar was placed at the opposite end, where there was the entrance, protected by a portico, built in place of the apse. The arch now visible at the entrance (with a date, 1475, carved on it and adorned with a beautiful floral decoration, perhaps dating back to the 17th century) was the ancient triumphal arch, which separated the chancel from the nave.
The old trussed roof of the nave was renovated with the construction of a central arch with a higher centre than the triumphal arch and of pillars adhering to the walls, which partially covered a fresco of the crucifixion. A new presbytery and a new altar were built, separated from the nave by an arch supporting a more ancient one, still visible.
The author of this work, the Rector Pietro Querenti, left a Latin inscription on the north wall, near the entrance. It states: "Pietro Querenti moved the entrance here facing east. He carried the altar and the choir towards evening. April 3, 1692. The Rector Giovanni Giacomo Cassa embellished and adorned with paintings this chapel. August 7, 1794 ".
Restoration works carried out from 1974 (on the occasion of the millennium of its foundation) to 2001 brought to light its architectural elements and frescoes.
The central arch and that of the presbytery were freed from the plaster and the bricks exposed. The column of the central arch was partially removed, in order to fully bring the fresco of the crucifixion to light.
In 1980, the portico in front of the church was demolished and the space it occupied became part of the nave. The ancient triumphal arch next to the front door was also brought to light and the area of the altar and the former portico were paved with terracotta tiles.
Looking at the church from the back, you can see this structure and the three arches. In the south wall, you can see an ancient blocked window, with fragments of flat roof tiles.
The altar, adhering to the wall of the apse, was built when the orientation of the church was changed in 1692. It is of plaster and stucco with a frontal decorated with flowers and foliage, in whose centre a papal mitre with the keys is drawn.
Above the altar, there is a painted wooden tabernacle. The altarpiece depicts the Madonna and Child (this image takes up that of the shrine of the Castle, by Pietro Ricchi), Saints Peter and Paul and the portrait of the client, indicated by an inscription: “R.(everendus) D.(ominus) Fau.(stinus) Cerutus R.(ector) S.(ancti) P.(etri). 1680”. "The Reverend Mr. Faustino Ceruti Rector of St. Peter".
To the left of the altar there is a small tabernacle, where relics were placed, indicated by an inscription: “Rel.(iquiae) San.(ctorum) Petri P.(apae) A.(postoli) nec non Gottardi et Rochi”. “Relics of Saints Peter, Gottardo and Rocco".
The church communicates with a cramped sacristy, where there is a fresco depicting the crucifix, to the right a priest kneeling in prayer, to the left Death dressed in white with a scythe.
Next to the church, there is a bell-tower with two bells. A small marble plaque placed on the south façade of the tower, above the roof of the temple, bears a Latin inscription of the date of construction or restoration, and the donors: “Didaci Azzi aliorumque Impensis extat a die XIII Aprilis Anno MDCCCLXV”. "Built at the expense of Didaco Azzi and others from April 13, 1865."
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