St. Martin's Church

There is no archival documentation, but many historians agree that the Benedictine monkscoming from Pedona (today Borgo San Dalmazzo) would come into the valley, founding a hospice for pilgrims in Andagna and would erect a church dedicated to St. Martin's Church dating back to 700 AD. The building was of modest dimensions, with a nave and a vaulted choir added at a later date. The entrance had a beautiful portal in black stone "masterfully carved"; above the door you could admire a fresco depicting St. Martin. Little is known about the life of the Benedictines except that the square next to the oratory was cultivated with wheat and used for the exchange of horses. The area of Andagna was a strategic crossroads for the great communication routes between Liguria and Piedmont. Outside, in the southern area, there was a cemetery area that had been working until the 19th century, when the cemetery was enlarged and moved to its present location. St. Martin's Church was the first parish church in the village. It served its religious functions until about 1400, to be replaced by the present parish church dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.

The St. Martin's ChurchThe church of San Martino, after only 140 years of officiating, was struck, on February 23, 1887, by the catastrophic earthquake that devastated the entire western part of Liguria and caused irreparable damage to the building: the vault collapsed and caused deep cracks in the perimeter walls, from the roof to the foundations. Unfortunately, St. Martin's Church today is no longer accessible. Inside the oratory two large statues representing St. John and St. Anthony, an altar from the early Christian era and several bas-reliefs of considerable artistic importance can still be admired today. Sadly, the large altarpiece behind the altar was stolen by the Nazis during the Second World War together with the church bell. 

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