NAME: Chiesa dei SS. Filippo e Giacomo / Church of Sts. Philip and James
The church was part of the ancient Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria founded in the mid-coast village called Castiglione, a toponym derived from the ancient CastrumLionis built in nearby Atrani. Mentioned for the first time in a papal bull of 1182, the complex during the 15th century was annexed with all its rents to the cathedral chapter of Ravello, which, therefore, also came into possession of the so-called jus di Marinella. This was the ancient fishing right, from which the tenth part of what was caught in the “Marinella di Castiglione” was obtained. Several times the capitulars were called upon to secure this income from the claims of neighboring coastal towns, which, clinging to various pretexts, tried unsuccessfully to take away that privilege. The church, later dedicated to Saints Philip and James, was punctually registered in the Pastoral Visitations drawn up beginning in 1577. Documentary sources show a progressive degradation of the sacred building, which, close to collapse in 1698, was restored thanks to the financial commitment of the Monastery of Santa Chiara (Saint Clare). In 1709 the bishop of Ravello granted the request of the reverend of Atrani Andrea Vissicchio, who was allowed to celebrate mass and take care of the cleaning of the rooms. A second restoration is dated 1879. Today the church, with an adjoining bell tower, has three naves divided by pillars: the central nave is covered by a barrel vault, interrupted in the center by a circular dome, while cross vaults extend over the side ones. The central altar is surmounted by a panel depicting the Virgin Mary between Saints Philip and James, also portrayed by a noteworthy sculptural group. Although the church falls within the territory of Ravello, it is part of the parish of Santa Maria Maddalena of Atrani, which can be reached by climbing a flight of steps carved into the rock.
SEE, VISIT, FIND: during services.
FRUITION DATA: none
OPPORTUNITIES: the structures could be presented with exterior panels so that the church is always accessible for visitors. Similar evidence, often little known, would be better enhanced by a tour itinerary (possibly guided) dedicated to the religious architecture of Ravello.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: FULCHIGNONI G., Ravello. Le cento chiese, Amalfi 2001
IMPERATO G., Ravello nella storia civile e religiosa,Cava d. T. 1990
MANSI L., Ravello sacra-monumentale, Ravello 1887