The San Lorenzo Church Portovenere, was built between 1118 and 1130 by the Genoeses, after purchasing Portovenere. It was erected on the rocky hills at the center of Portovenere as the official cathedral of the colony. The church is such a significant part of the Portovenere's landscape and is definately worth a visit.
View of Portovenere and San Lorenzo Church overlooking the town
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It was masterfully done in a Romanic style by the famous Magistri Antelami , who came from the Valley of Antelamo, on the Maggiore Lake. During the centuries the church and its Romanesque facade was structurally modified several times because of the historical vicissitudes of Portovenere.
San Lorenzo Church - its facade and small courtyard where you can sit down under the shade of the trees and take a well deserved break from sightseeing
Just above the entrance of the church, you can see the high-relief of the saint
The church was consecrated in 1130 by Pope Innocence II. And inside it, today we find several great works of art : a 15th –century triptych, the St. Martin Polyptych, the Lebanon cedar trunk which came to the waters of Portovenere in 1204 and in whose hollow inside were found some reliques and four caskets stories in accordance with decorative schemes of 11th-century Arab-Persian art.
San Lorenzo Church - sundial
The bell-tower of the church as seen from the path leading to Doria Castle
Last but not least, you can admire the wonderful parchment of the White Madona (Madonna Bianca), miraculous image for whom Portovenere’s citizens have a sacred admiration. It is believed that the icon was taken at sea in 1204 and on 17 August 1399 is miraculously transformed into its current image. And every year on August 17th, the town carries a procession dedicated to the Madonna Bianca to celebrate the event. It is a magical procession to attend as some 1,600 candles illuminate the cliffs and San Pietro Church in Portovenere.
Thank you for visiting our guide… we look forward to welcoming you to Liguria and hope you will love it as much as we do !
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