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Hermitage of San Paolo

Near Arco, not far from Lake Garda, there is a sacral work of art carved into rock and decorated with frescoes. The ancient church was first mentioned in 1186 and impresses with its construction, which seems to grow directly out of the overhanging rock.

The mountain is partly the wall and the vault of the Hermitage. It consists of a prayer room and adjoining room, which was once available to pilgrims. A terrace and a stone staircase also carved partly into the rock, leading to an underlying cavity, complete the building.

The idea of ​​the hermitage came from the lords of Arco, known for their cruelty. They also took a right to name the hermits themselves. According to legend, in 1333 a particular woman named Gisla was staying here and was interrogated in the trial of a heretic named Dolcino. In 1627, when the plague raged in the area, the hermitage was used as a sanctuary. In the 17th century, it was largely forgotten and only occasionally used for the commemoration of St. Paul. In 1844, it came into the possession of Gregorio de Althamer, who had the building restored and financed regular masses. From 1950, however, the hermitage was forgotten again, until it was finally bought by the municipality Arco, who ordered their elaborate restoration with the help of the Autonomous Province of Trento.

Through the careful restoration, the beautiful frescoes became visible again. They show scenes from the Last Supper and the life of the Apostle Paul. On the outer wall are a series of blazon bearers associated with the castle of Avio.

Noteworthy is also the mention of the hermitage in the writings of Rainer Maria Rilke. You can visit the interior of the retreat in the Garda Lake area on request.

Additional information:

Cultural Association Arco: + 39 0464/583608

Updated: 30/01/2019

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