Photo ©Ermete Cheli
Places of worship
Church of Santa Maria in Porcari
A recent church that gathers a very ancient community
Porcari
Porcari, località Rughi, Via Romana Ovest, 190, 55016 Lucca LU, Italia

The Church of the Nativity of Maria Santissima in Rughi is the second in importance after the Church of San Giusto, the main church of Porcari.

It is a sacred building of recent construction, taking on its current form in 1933, following the recent restructuring works and modifications to the central nave and side aisles. It officially became a parish church in 1945.

The religious community was already present in the area since the middle ages with the function of hospital station for the many pilgrims that passed through the area on their way to Rome.

Consequently, for the shelter and refreshment it provided, this place is mentioned in documents that date back to before the year 1000 with the names of Hospitale di S. Maria in Rughi or Hospitale del Ruchi.

Inside, at the high altar, is the “Madonna e il Bambino tra San Girolamo e un martire”, a panel of the early 16th century. It was discovered almost by chance around 1960, when following the fall of a canvas in the church a hiding place was found with the painting that had clearly been hidden for safety reasons. After several hypothesis over the years, this work, which is specifically a wooden altarpiece measuring 1.62 m by 1.22 m, formed by three poplar wood panels connected with dovetail joints, has been definitively attributed to Ranieri di Leonardo, who was painting between 1502 and 1521.