The Santa Maria ai Servi Church is located in the eastern part of Orvieto‘s historic center. Since there used to be a church dedicated to San Martino nearby, it is also called the Parocchia di San Martino. The former San Martino Church had to be demolished when the Rocca Albornoz was built.
Santa Maria dei Servi Church Orvieto
Address: Via Belisario, 2 – 05018 Orvieto.
History and description
Both the Santa Maria dei Servi Church itself, and the attached convent, were built in the 13th century. On the outside, the side walls are covered with a layer of tufa stone, but the façade and interior display a neo-classical style. The latter is the result of a renovation carried out in 1857 by the architect Virginio Vespignani.
The interior is characterized by a single nave, with three chapels on either side. The nave is covered with a wooden vault. An antique organ can be seen above the main portal.
The wooden crucifix in the first chapel on the right dates from the 14th century. The frescoes in this chapel (or what remains of them) were painted by Pietro di Nicola Baroni. Two paintings have “The Archangel Michael” as their theme. The other two show a “Crucifixion” and a “Christ with a Globe on which are depicted the words Asya, Africa and Europe.”
The small San Sebastiano Chapel is located to the right of the main altar. The “Maestà” seen here dates from the 15th century.
The sacristy started its existence as an apse. The most striking work of art is the frieze, with portraits of Saints and Beatified members of the Order of the Servites of Mary.
Coppo di Marcovaldo was responsible for the painting “Maestà” (c. 1360), which depicts the Madonna and Child. He had already created an earlier painting with the same theme for the Servite church in Siena.
The baptismal font dates from the 15th century.
A former Franciscan convent is locates adjacent to the church. Here one can view a cloister and a well designed by Ippolito Scalza.
In 1297, Louis IX was crowned king of France in the church by Boniface VIII.