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Oratory of the Holy Cross

Oratory of the Holy Cross

Oratory of the Holy Cross

The most ancient place of Christian worship in Cervarese, giving rise to the name of the town

The Oratory of the Holy Cross is the most ancient place of Christian cult in the territory of Cervarese, so significant that it attributed its name to the same location. It is mentioned in one of the first written records of the diocese of Padua, dating back to 874, as a donation made by the bishop Rorio to the Benedictines of Santa Giustina in Padua. It was later object of contention between the bishop and the Emperor Lothair II, who wanted to join it to the monastery of San Prospero in Reggio Emilia. Eventually, the pope assigned it to the bishop as the site of a monastic community (regular rectory). 


It is assumed that the parsonage already arose in 899, when, due to an attack by the Hungarians, the Benedictine monks fled from Padua, took refuge in Cervarese. In the late Middle Ages it began to decline, until the Venetians, starting from the fifteenth century, reduced it as a church depending on the parish of Montegaldella. They gave it in commendam (Commandery: it corresponds to the right of custody on assets without residency requirements) to some high rank clergymen and finally to the seminary of Venice. 

Following a renovation in the late seventeenth century, it was subjected to the jus patronatus, namely a state patronage, first Austria and later, from 1866, the Kingdom of Italy, which preferred to turn it into a private residence and built then a new church in Cervarese.


The plant of the edifice, endowed with a single nave, is cross shaped;  its interior walls contain traces of frescoes pertaining to different periods, ranging from 1000 to 1500. This church, dated XII-XIII century, replaced the former one, whose structures were found beneath the soil during recent archaeological excavations. The tower also dates back to the oldest period; later it was transformed into a bell tower, which was originally outpost of defensive system of the Committee of Vicenza along river Bacchiglione, on the border with the Paduan territory. 

The building was restored by the town of Cervarese in the ‘80s of the last century, and is now used as a hall for meetings and cultural events.


Iniziativa finanziata dal Programma di sviluppo rurale per il Veneto 2014-2020
Organismo responsabile dell'informazione: GAL Patavino.
Autorità di gestione: Regione del Veneto
- Direzione AdG FEASR Parchi e Foreste -