You walk into a Genoa bank and you find a church!

I admit that this is one of the more incredible discoveries I made in Genoa 😉 But it’s all true! The former, consecrated church building is now a bank. But let’s start from the beginning.

Church of Saint Sabina

The church is located via delle Fontane, next to the square of the same name. The first mention of this church comes from the 6th century (!). In 936, it was destroyed during the Saracen invasion (the church was located outside the city walls at that time, and was incorporated into these walls only in 1155). The church was rebuilt in Gothic at the beginning of the 11th century. However, the remains we can see today come from the Romanesque period. The Church of St. Sabina, after the liquidation of the parish in 1931, was partially demolished in 1939 and transformed into a cinema …

Bank

Today, the remains of this ancient building have been integrated into the Carige Bank branch. On the via delle Fontane side, nothing remains of the original building. However, when you enter, you will notice on the opposite wall of the building the apse of the former church, which was spared from demolition. You can enter the bank without any problems and take photos.

“Main Altar”

As I have already mentioned, only part of the apse remains of the former building, i.e. the place where the main altar is traditionally located. I don’t know whether it is out of respect for the ancient building or to emphasize the contrast that there is a painting in the apse that could easily decorate a main altar. The painting is “The Annunciation”, the work of Bernardo Strozzi. The painter himself is a fascinating figure, a monk belonging to the Capuchin brotherhood, one of the most important painters of the Genoese Baroque. And the painting comes from a ruined religious complex, Conservatorio Interiano.

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