The Church

The church of Longarone, symbol of the new town, was built on the ruins of the old Parish Church and is dedicated to the Victims of Vajont.
The story of the new church started a few years after the tragedy, once urgency works of the months immediately following the tragedy were over, and the people of Longarone felt the need of gathering in a sacred place around a common altar.
The first requests for designing the new church were addressed to Florentine Architect Giovanni Michelucci already in 1964. However, the Architect was formally appointed only in November 1966.
Longarone’s new Church took shape, at the beginning from a few sketches and then on an increasingly detailed project. The architectural concept recalled the core features of Michelucci’s architecture: the choral liturgical action, in which every individual experiences their own relation with God and with the others; the path walked by people through history and through the dynamic structures of the church; and finally the square as ideal meeting place where new relations can be built. These distinctive elements add to the peculiar ellipse shape of the church and its two amphitheatres, the upper one representing the arrival point of the Way of the Cross, a way the survivors of Longarone had experienced firsthand.
The project presentation to the community of Longarone, towards the end of 1966, did not initially achieve full consensus. The project by Architect Michelucci was only approved after quite a few public manifestations of dissent and the foundation stone was finally blessed on October 9th, 1975. Works started immediately, but it took a few years to complete the church: its consecration took place on October 9th, 1983.
The church aims at expressing the anti-dam, the Calvary of this destroyed and reconstructed town. The Way of the Cross winds from the space under the building, a room hosting the remains of the old church called Museum of Living Stones, then passes through the sacred amphitheatre and ends under the cross, symbol of resurrection and access to the profane amphitheatre, designed by Architect Michelucci as the socializing square of the town.
Coming up from the Museum of Living Stones visitors can see the metal plaques with the names of the 1910 victims of the tragedy listed according to their family groups.
Inside the sacred room, the statue of the Virgin Mary, carried kilometres from Longarone by the wave and then put back in the new church, watches over her people.
The church is in the centre of Longarone, overlooking the Jacopo Tasso Square.

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