Church St.Maria Assunta in Bottenago

Between Drugolo and Bottenago, in Roman times there were at least one village and some rural Roman rural buildings and the church St.Maria Assunta in Bottenago, belonged to the diocese of Brescia and was located on the hill of Bottenago in the Castello area.

The church St.Maria Assunta in Bottenago “It is remembered for the first time in a deed of 28 September 1167 with which the bishop of Brescia Raimondo, after having consecrated St. Michael of Drugolo, renounces, in front of the faithful present, the jurisdictional rights on church, which instead remain together with the monastery of San Pietro di Serle, the parish church and the clerics of San Michele. The church, with three naves divided by columns, was abandoned at the end of the 1700s and was already devoid of the roof and with the columns collapsed in 1876 when it was designed and photographed by Pietro Da Ponte, uncertain whether to date it to the 12th-13th century or to the 14th century – early XV, while Gaetano Panazza, in more recent times, judged it to be from the 12th century. From what can be seen in the images attached to the Da Ponte notebook, several construction phases are deduced: (a) the central apse in split stones is in an uncertain work with a triumphal arch in squared ashlars; externally it is divided by pilasters that are grafted onto a protruding frame, similar to another frame in the upper part of the masonry, a reason that can be found in the apses of San Cipriano in Lonato di San Donino in Desenzano (see charts); in the mirrors there are three single-lancet windows; the one in the center in the frontal drawing is archiacuta, while in the picture and in the drawing of the exterior it appears to be round, like the other two; (b) the lateral apses, probably added, have an acute triumphal arch; (c) the bell tower is in squared ashlars, except for the pertinent belfry of a second phase; (d) the facade has a large rose window and a late stone portal. Fragments of liturgical furniture in Botticino stone, already reported as Lombards at the end of the nineteenth century when they were reused, as recalled by Fossati, “at the top of the arches”, were recovered some twenty years ago. The one published, decorated with a zoomorphic head between two vegetable spirals, can be dated to the eighth century and suggests that there was a church older than the Romanesque one. In conclusion, from the available information it seems possible to deduce a sequence that begins with a Roman villa, followed then by the construction of a church that has an ante quem term in liturgical furniture and finally by a castle, of which in 1891 it was still possible to observe the double walls and the quadrangular structure shown on the map of the land register of 1811. “(GP Brogiolo)