Curiosità

A Contursi Terme esiste la copia della Cappella Sistina

CONTURSI TERME. Ancora poco conosciuta è la Chiesa di Maria SS. del Carmine a Contursi Terme. Perché merita attenzione da parte della Soprintendenza?

Il tesoro nascosto della Chiesa di Maria SS. del Carmine

La Chiesa del Carmine risale al XV secolo, dedicata al Santo della città, il Vescovo San Donato, ma le fondamenta risalgono ad un’epoca ancora più antica, probabilmente a un tempio pagano. Il tempo e l’abbandono hanno causato sui muri muffe che stanno cancellando un piccolo patrimonio. Nonostante ciò, l’interno è maestoso, la chiesa del Carmine viene anche detta la piccola “Cappella Sistina

La più conosciuta “Cappella Sistina” si trova a Roma un vero gioiello dei musei Vaticani fu Papa Sisto IV della Rovere a volerne la costruzione. In passato nel luogo avvennero anche importanti incoronazioni papali, oggi patrimonio culturale è conosciuta in tutto il mondo per gli affreschi di Michelangelo Buonarroti che realizzò tra il 1508 e il 1541.

Quel è la correlazione fra le due chiese?

La Chiesa del Carmine di Contursi Terme al suo interno conserva un importante valore storico. Gli affreschi sulle pareti e sul soffitto, seppure in dimensioni ridotte, gli affreschi che abbelliscono le volte dell’abside hanno una straordinaria somiglianza con quelli presenti nella chiesa romana.

Una meravigliosa rappresentazione del giudizio universale; la chiesa ha una sola navata colpisce subito all’ingresso, il dipinto domina e accoglie i fedeli dall’altare maggiore, un imponente affresco su legno della Madonna del Carmelo circondata da due santi e dalle anime del Purgatorio.



Una pala del 1608 di Jacopo de Antora, raffigurante il Profeta Elia, il profeta Giovanni Battista ed in alto, su una nuvola, Maria con il Bambino, mentre alle loro spalle svettano le colline del Carmelo, con chiese e grotte, ed un’iscrizione che menziona il committente Paolo Pepe Gran Giudice della Vicaria del Regno di Napoli. L’abside è affrescata con dipinti seicenteschi raffiguranti il Paradiso opera di Innocenzo Gentile e Carmine de Matina. Quello che colpisce più di tutto sono gli affreschi raffigurante figure pagane.


      


Le figure delle Sibille

Le sibille, figure pagane, si trovano nella Cattedrale di Siena, nell’appartamento Borgia in Vaticano, nel Tempio Malatestiano di Rimini, nella Cappella Sistina di Michelangelo. Nella cappella di Contursi Terme, ai lati della navata, ci sono raffigurate dodici sibille venute alla luce dopo il restauro alla fine degli anni ’80, la conservazione di tutte e dodici le sibille è un fatto straordinario e rarissimo, nella cappella sistina, Michelangelo ha rappresentato solo cinque Sibille con sette profeti.

Chi sono le Sibille

Le sibille nel mondo antico erano delle profetesse che abitavano nel Mediterraneo. Sono esistite nella mitologia greca e in quella romana, avevano il dono della preveggenza ed erano sacerdotesse vergini, legate al Dio Apollo, fornivano responsi in forma oscura. L’uso di un simbolo pagano, le Sibille, nelle chiese rappresenta un’alleata preziosa che illumina il cammino dell’umanità dall’era pagana alla nascita del cristianesimo. Le sibille affrescate sui muri della chiesa sono dodici:

  • La sibilla di Persia, che si disse essere nuora di Xoè;
  • La Libia, a cui si attribuisce un severo monito ai suoi contemporanei contro l’idolatria;
  • Delfo, figlia dell’indovino Tiresa. che celebrò la grandezza divina in nobili versi, di alcuni dei quali si sarebbe servito Omero;
  • L’Eritrea, che predisse la guerra di Troia, i canti omerici e perfino la venuta di Cristo;
  • La Cimmeria che preannunziò la Vergine Maria;
  • La Samo che predisse la crocifissione di Cristo;
  • La Cuma, la più celebre di tutte, chiamata Deifoba, figlia di Glauco e sacerdotessa di Apollo; dimorava presso Napoli in un antro dalle cento porte, da ognuna delle quali usciva la sua voce;
  • La Ellesponto, cui si attribuisce la profezia della nascita di Cristo; 9) quella di Frigia, che predisse l’annunciazione;
  • La Tiburtina, che ebbe a Tibur un tempio;
  • L’Epiro che profetò la passione di Gesù;
  • L’Egitto che preannunziò il tradimento di Giuda;












La chiesa nel 1561 fu concessa ai frati carmelitani a cui apportarono delle modifiche.

Nel 1652 con una bolla papale la Chiesa fu aggregata all’Arcipretura in seguito alla soppressione del convento carmelitano.

Lungo le mura vi è ancora oggi il percorso della via Crucis, sul portone della facciata vi è l’effigie del fauno, simbolo della Città di Contursi Terme, All’interno si possono ammirare le tombe dei Parisani, marchesi dell’epoca, diversi affreschi, quadri antichi e iscrizioni marmoree.



La Melusina lungo i vicoli della città di Contursi Terme
Datata XVI secolo, la Melusina è simbolo di fertilità e di generazione eterna, rappresentata con due code, richiama la lettera dell’alfabeto greco Omega – il principio e la fine di tutte le cose – ma anche di ambiguità.

La storia di Melusina

Melusina era una bellissima ragazza legata a una maledizione inflitta dalla madre Pressina, quando mancò di rispetto al padre ella la condannò.

Ogni sabato la parte inferiore del suo corpo verrà trasformata in coda di serpente fino a quando non incontrerà un uomo capace di rispettare il patto di non guardarla mentre fa il bagno. Melusina vaga per l’Europa fino a che non incontra Raimondo di Poitou nella foresta francese di Colombiers; lui se ne innamora e la chiede in moglie. Lei acconsente a patto che lui non la segua nel bosco il sabato. il fratello dello sposo insinua il dubbio sulle misteriose assenze della giovane, tanto da indurre al sospetto Raimondino, che infrange la promessa.

La ragazza, trasformandosi in serpente, scomparirà per sempre nel regno delle acque, ma tornerà furtivamente di notte, strisciando, a rimboccare le coperte dei suoi piccoli e i figli nati dal loro matrimonio. Si dice che ancora oggi lungo i corsi d’acqua è possibile udire le grida di dolore di Melusina.


Si ringrazia il Sacerdote di Contursi Terme Don Salvatore Spingi per la gentile collaborazione e Francesco Pecoraro per la concessione delle foto.

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