Church of Santa Maria Assunta

Even the Church of Arsiè is mentioned in the famous document of Pope Lucio III as possession of the church of Feltre, but it certainly has ancient foundations due to the findings of 1982, underneath the current presbytery, of the structure with three apses of the ancient church.

As the parish churches of Fonzaso and Quero, also dedicated to St. Mary, also that of Arsiè was and still is aggregated to the diocese of Padua even though it was submitted to the domain of the bishop of Feltre. Very little remains of the ancient church, including few traces of decorations dating back to the XV century in the presbytery, because even Fonzaso was attacked in 1510 by the imperial army that destroyed Feltre during the War of Cambrai.

The church was rebuilt in the following years, realizing and apse slightle titled leftwards to remember the position of the head of Christ on the cross, exactly as in the Cathedral of Feltre. Between the seventeenth and the nineteenth century there were numerous renovations and the rich decorations in stucco that decorate the nave; between 1734 and 1736 the new facade was realized, housing in the niche above the portal, a sculptural group of the Madonna and Child (1741).

Inside there are some interesting works of art, including two canvas of the late seventeenth century by Giambattista Volpato and a particular group of sculptures in clay painted with the Madonna and Child, much loved by locals and carried in procession during periods of great danger.

Works of art

The church preserves a unique sculptural group of the late fifteenth century in clay depicting the Madonna and Child, much loved by locals and carried in procession in periods of great danger. At the center of the presbytery, the modern main altar in flanked by two elegant marble angels (XVIII) that, according to tradition, come from a villa in Feltre.

The nave is faced by eight symmetrical chapels: the first on your right houses since 1914 the “Cave of Lourdes”, while the left one is occupied by an imposing monolithic sixteenth-century baptismal font. In the six side chapels are housed six wooden altars made between the seventeenth and the eighteenth century. The last two towards the apse are respectively dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The canvas of the Madonna of the Rosary, St. Dominic, St. Catherine and the winners of the Battle of Lepanto, which took place in 1571 between the Christian fleet (winners) and the Muslim one, is similar to the canvas with the same subject preserved in the parish church of Fonzaso.

The overlooking altar preserves a big crucifix of the late fifteenth century and the later two wooden statues depicting Our Lady of Sorrows and St. John the Evangelist, while above the side entrances there is an eighteenth-century pulpit and a statue of the Spanish Franciscan St. Peter of Alcantara (1722). Two paintings by Giambattista Volpato are in the two following chapels and date back to the beginning of the eighth decade of the seventeenth century, the first depicting the Nativity and the second the Holy Family with the protectors against plague, St. Sebastian and St. Rocco.


The church of San Martino di Mellame, a few km from Arsiè, documented since the XVI century and renovated in 1904, retains a magnificent carved stone tabernacle in Lombard style, introduced in the second half of the fifteenth century in Belluno by workers from the Como area that worked also in Feltre for the realization of the “lombardesche” fountains (1487) in Piazza Maggiore square. The same building preserves a sixteenth-century canvas by Pietro Marascalchi with the Madonna and Child, St Martin and St. John the Baptist, two wooden statues of the saints on both sides of the main altar, an oval painting with St. Anthony of Padua and Christ Child attributed to Angelo Antonio Cignaroli from Turin , active between the eighteenth and nineteenth century, and a wonderful Crucifix attributed to the scuptor Andrea Brustolon, native of Belluno.

Even the church of St. John the Baptist in Rivai, that became a parish church in 1594, contains an altarpiece realized by Pietro Marascalchi depicting a Madonna and Child, St. John the Baptist and Santa Giustina and is probably one of the last works by the artist at the end of the sixteenth century. Worth a note, the altar of St. Joseph in polychrome marble, framing a painting of the Death of St. Joseph attributed to the local painter Bernardino Castelli, documented between the end of XVIII and the beginning of XIX century

Opening days and accessibility

Church of Santa Maria Assunta: located in the center of the town of Arsiè.

Church of St. Martino: you can reach this church crossing Arsiè and following northwards the road to Mellame.

Church of St. John the Baptist in Rivai: you can reach it crossing Arsiè towards north, passing by Mellame and reaching the village of Rivai.

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