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This is the most important historic-artistic building in town. Building began in 1606 on a plan by Francesco Maria Richini, and it was opened for religious rites in 1633. Its façade was completed in 1845-46, designed by the architect Giovanni Battista Bossi. In 1902 the pronaos was added, designed by the engineer Giacomo Santamaria, and in 1933 it was adorned with statues. The belfry reached its present dimensions (65 metres from bottom to the top) in 1758-59. The set of eight bells was installed in 1889. At the foot of the belfry is the ossuary built in 1725.
The interior of the basilica was frescoed and decorated during the years 1908-10 by the artist from Turin Luigi Morgari and the decorator from Lodi Aristide Secchi, with the exception of the chapels of the Madonna of the Carmine and of Saint Charles. The high altar was constructed in 1802 and designed by Lodovico Pollack, while the organ was made in 1816-18 by the organ-maker Eugenio Biroldi who recycled some pipes and keys belonging to the previous organ made in 1643-44 by Michelangelo Valvassori. In 1864-65 the Prestinari brothers of Magenta reinforced the instrument. The chapel of the Madonna of the Carmine was built in 1648, commissioned by Galeazzo Arconati Visconti. The altar and balustrades were made by Francesco Calone. The walls of the chapel of Saint Charles were frescoed in 1901-02 by Ferdinando Brambilla, and the paintings on the vault are older and hard to date. The altar, decorated by Giuseppe Speluzzi, was constructed during the same period. Upon it was placed the tabernacle of the former high altar constructed between 1654 and 1659 by Carlo Garavaglia, probably a native of Cuggiono. The large painting of the Immaculate Virgin, placed in front of the organ, was painted in 1717 by Pietro Gilardi. The four marble statues at the entrance to the presbytery, the statue of Saint Joseph and the medallion belonging to this altar were brought from the destroyed Milanese church of Saint Francis the Great. The niches on the walls are in stucco, by an unknown seventeenth-century artist. The urn containing the mortal remains of the Roman martyr Benedict was made in 1764 by the goldsmith Bini of Milan when the relic, donated by the marquis Giorgio Clerici, was brought to Cuggiono.

QUESTA E' LA MIA CHIESA

La basilica di S.Giorgio Martire,edificata tra il 1606 e il 1625 su progetto del Pellegrini, nella prima metà del 1800 subì un rifacimento della facciata in forme neoclassiche. All’interno si trovano affreschi del 1600 appartenenti al Morazzone (cappella della Madonna del Carmelo). Sono del secolo XVII le quattro statue in marmo poste all'ingresso del presbiterio che con la statua di San Giuseppe, ora nell'omonima cappella, appartenevano a un unico altare nella distrutta chiesa di S. Francesco grande in Milano e le statue in "stucca" poste nelle nicchie lungo la navata. Del 1700 sono invece il quadro dell'Immacolata concezione, di Pietro Gilardi, dipinto nel 1717; il reliquiario contenente il corpo di San Benedetto martire realizzato dall'orefice Bini nel 1763-64 e alcuni paliotti delle cappelle laterali. Nel 1802, su disegno di Lodovico Pollak, fu costruito il nuovo altare maggiore che prese posto dell'originario, in legno, costruito da Carlo Garavaglia. La medesima sorte toccò all'organo. Nel 1817 l'organaro varesino Eugenio Biroldi fu incaricato della costruzione di un nuovo strumento. Essendo più grande di quello del Valvassori, fu necessario sostituire la cassa realizzata dal garavaglia. La nuova, tuttora esistente, è del falegname Camillo Gada. Nel 1864-65 l'organo fu revisionato e ulteriormente ampliato dai fratelli Prestinari di Magenta che non manomisero completamente quanto aveva fatto il Biroldi. Pertanto lo strumento attuale può essere considerato un Biroldi-Prestinari.

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Additional Photos by Luciano Gollini (lousat) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6994 W: 117 N: 13209] (74135)
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