Santa Maria in Galeria
In the characteristic agricultural village of Santa Maria in Galeria, built around an ancient farmhouse, the original church of Santa Maria in Celsano is tucked away, otherwise called Santa Maria in Galeria.
The church, which owes its name to the old village of Galeria, is now abandoned, located in the homonymous square. Its history is inevitably linked to the events of the Castle of Galeria, in fact, both were the center of the Domusculta Galeria founded in the 8th century to repopulate the Roman countryside following the fall of the Empire.
From the square, you can access a courtyard in front of the medieval church, it’s neogothic appearance acquired during the restorations in the XIX century by Pope Leo XIII.
The neo-gothic elements are visible on the exterior façade, featuring windows with the typical steep arch and a rosette in the center.
The inner plan has three naves with bows resting on granite columns, topped with acanthus leaf capitals.
There are several architectural elements present in the Roman villa below, such as the inner columns, the baptismal font, the water tower and the marbles. The walls are decorated with stunning 1400 frescoes of the Antoniazzo Romano school. Among these stands out the representation of the Virgin Mary emerging from a mulberry tree, in keeping with the old tale of finding an image of Santa Maria in Celsano on a mulberry tree and the subsequent healing of a sick child.
Ever present during the ceremony is the marble altar, a symbol of gratitude by the locals to the Virgin for having spared the village from the bombings of World War II.
The church of Santa Maria in Galeria, due to its modest size, can accommodate 120 people, and juxtaposition of the ancient architecture and rural style make this location one of a kind.
Getting married in this church is like stepping back to a time where nothing was artificial, the village has retained all the peculiarities of an 11th century farmhouse.