St. Maria doorway - Geological and Landslides Museum (Museo Geologico e delle Frane)

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St. Maria doorway


The doorway in Civita (the only one remaining of the two once existing) is called Santa Maria, because it was erected near a church dedicated to S. Maria.
It is also known as "hollow door" because in the origin it was cut in the tuff by Etruscan.
During the Middle Ages it was rearranged with a Gothic arch.

On the tuffaceous walls there are graffiti with crosses on triangles, representing Golgotha hill, attributable to pilgrims returning from the Holy Land or to the Knights Templar.
On both sides of the door there are two bas-reliefs with a lion holding a human head in its claws, placed in memory of the victorious uprising of the inhabitants of Civita in 1457 against the Monaldeschi family from Orvieto. In the fifteenth century the Monaldeschi family, in fact, tried to take control on Civita in order to keep it as a Guelph garrison against the Ghibellines of Viterbo: in 1457, as a result of their oppression in administration and in taxation on the community, the inhabitants rebelled destroying the castle of Cervara, from which the Monaldeschi were exercising their power.

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