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Church of St. Ambrose

 Chiesa di S.Ambrogio

High Altar








St. Ambrose

Originally the entrance faced the west preceded by the churchyard. In the 17th century the orientation was inverted to facilitate the admittance of processions and other liturgical manifestations very frequent in that period.
The dedication to St. Ambrose, archbishop of Milan in the 4th century, is probably due to the fact that the Monastery of St Ambrose in Milan was the owner in the Middle Ages of woodlands above Albogasio and of territories on Lake Lugano between Campione and Santa Margherita. The last mentioned locality, an ancient settlement of sheperds and woodcutters, situated on the opposite shore facing Albogasio, is part of the Valsolda municipality to whom it was transferred in Napoleonic times, and its small Romanesque church is to this day served by the parish priest of Albogasio. During the plague of 1630 the sick  were confined to this shore and those who died were buried there.
Let us return to the church of St. Ambrose. The following frescoes (end of the XVIIth century)  are the work of Stefano Vignola of Puria :
1.    The emperor Theodosius expelled from the church by St. Ambrose, as punishment for the massacre of Thessalonica.
2.    Penance of Theodosius and his re-admittance to the Sacraments with the blessing of St. Ambrose.
3.    Consecration of Ambrose as bishop (very much damaged).
4. Death of the Saint (badly damaged).
A nice belfry with a small hive –like cupola.

A mule-track which bypasses the church climbs the mountain to the little chapel of Our Lady of the Beech,  1100  m. above sea-level, on the way to Alpe Bolgia, a mountain pasture.This chapel is linked to an ancient tradition of miracles attributed to a stone statue of Our Lady discovered in the interior hollow of a gigantic beech.

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