The religious complex of St. Faustinus and Jovita
The church of the Benedictine women’s convent of St. Faustinus is mentioned among many other churches in the documents concerning the “Castle”. The church is also mentioned in a document dated 994, while the convent is mentioned for the first time in 1101. In 1914 Ugo Monneret de Villard associated the building mentioned in the document with this complex and he considered the two apses as a reference to the martyrs Faustinus and his brother Jovita.
The south and north walls, and the lower part of the apse of the medieval church are well preserved. The surface of the wall is very regular with large square ashlar blocks and Lombard bands at the uppermost course of the wall.
The original interior of the building has been lost due to alterations. The ceiling, covered with cross vaults, has been lowered and replaced with a barrel vault. A crib, a basin and a stone bench have been propped against the partially preserved walls. The two small apses are still well preserved.
Judging by the style and the masonry the church is likely to have been built after the twelfth century. Although tradition has it that the inhabitants left the island in 1169 after its complete destruction, we have reasons to believe that even after that year there was some activity in the area.
Surveys and analysis of the condition of the building have been carried out during the restoration process. Archaeological excavation conducted under the supervision of the Archaeological Heritage Office of Lombardy in 2006 and 2009 has revealed the presence of walls outside the building. These were probably part of the island’s fortifications. Some graves found in the same area, on the other hand, are contemporary to the church. The fact that there is no evidence of violent destruction supports the hypothesis that the church was built after the year 1169.