The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (Saint Mary Major) in Mirabella Eclano is located in the historic centre of the Irpinian town.
Founded in Norman times, in what was once called Acquaputida, the Mother Church is linked to the cult of the Our Lady of the Holy Milk, a relic of which is said to have been kept in the Mirabella community. The current layout, dating back to the 18th century, has a single nave with eight chapels bordered by marble balconies. It was restored after the earthquake of 23 November 1980 and bears the signs of all the periods of the town's history.
Today, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore has an apsidal Latin cross plan, the result of the addition of the transept. The façade is made of light-coloured stone slabs, defined by pilasters and four chapels that, until 1980, contained the statues of Saint Benedict, Saint Francis, Saint William and Saint Vincent.
The interior houses a majestic Christus gaudens, a 12th-century wooden crucifix that bears witness to the penetration of Norman models in the regions dominated by the Altavilla family. The stone baptismal font dates back to the same period and is characterised by a deep circular basin with the projecting symbols of the four evangelists. The wooden ceiling painted with squares and floral vines, enriched by a large central canvas depicting the Assumption of the Virgin, was painted in 1749 by Giuseppe Tomajoli, an artist of Apulian origin, while along the sides of the nave, above the cornice, are eight ovals depicting the four Evangelists and the four Doctors of the Church. The side chapels contain paintings, marble altars and statues of saints, including two valuable busts of Saint Priscus, the patron saint of Mirabella Eclano, and an urn containing his remains.
A place of worship of high artistic value, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (Saint Mary Major) in Mirabella Eclano is an almost thousand-year-old testimony to history and faith.
Chiesa di S. Maria Maggiore di Mirabella Eclano
Via Eclano, 49, 83036 Mirabella Eclano AV, Italia