Church of Saint Helena

Church of Saint Helena


Churches Colico

The centre of Fontanedo, at an altitude of 600 metres is one of the oldest settlements in Colico and remained permanently inhabited until the end of the 19th century. It is located in a sheltered valley, in a position that offered favorable conditions for agricultural activity of subsistence farming thanks to the extensive meadows for grazing, lush chestnut woodlands and neighbouring terraces of once cultivated vineyards. The area also had abundant sources of water, hence the name “Fontanedo”. It is not possible to determine accurately the period of construction of the Church of St. Helena (or Holy Cross) but it must have already been active in the 13th century. Fontanedo repeatedly endured fires and destruction and retains the signs in the walls rebuilt several times. On the front we see a fresco with the face of St. Sebastian.
The church features a baptismal font in white marble from Musso, preserved in a side apse, and an ancient wooden crucifix. The Christ, from the exquisite face, in death on the cross, has lost his hands, consumed by both humidity and time. It is currently preserved in the parish church of Curcio along with altarpiece: a valuable painting, oil on canvas of the 17th century by Giambattista Recchi, representing St. Elena showing Mary the Lord’s cross, found on Calvary.
Every year in this church, on the Sunday following August 16, St. Helena is celebrated with religious rites and a participatory folk festival.
Recently (summer 2013) in ongoing restoration work a fresco hidden by plaster interior was found. The small bell tower has also been restored to its original appearance with the re-opening of some windows.

(Text from the Brochure "Colico Outdoor")

Church of Saint Helena


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