A wooden horse

The wooden horse and rider in the museum at San Cassiano is not just any horse. The sculpture has been attributed to Jacopo della Quercia. He was an early Renaissance artist from Querciagrossa, near Siena. He became a resident of Lucca when his family moved there.

He was in the contest to design the Doors of Paradise at the Baptistery in Florence, but lost out to Ghiberto. One of his most famous works is the exquisite sarcophagus of Ilaria in the cathedral in  Lucca.

On a recent trip to San Cassiano I was delighted to find the museum open. It is housed in the Oratory opposite the church.

San Cassiano museum

Up close the wooden carving is beautiful. In 1909 it was found in a state of considerable neglect. It was restored in the 1920s and again in the early 1990s.

The sculpture is made up of 3 elements of linden wood. 2 elements make up most of the horse, while the bust of the saint is carved from a single block of wood.

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

 

San Cassiano museum

Behind the horse are 2 other carvings. Both are carved from a single block of poplar wood, with the exception of some parts of the hands and the head. On the left of the altar is Archangel Gabriel and on the right The Virgin of the Annunciation.

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

The church was open on the day I visited as well.

San Cassiano church

The interior is stunning. It looks ancient.

San Cassiano church

San Cassiano church

The floor has been worn down by centuries of feet.

San Cassiano church

The villages of Bagni di Lucca are a treasure trove for those who go looking.

 

 

 

Summer wild flowers

Paul Davies from San Cassiano has been out and about taking photos of the gorgeous wild flowers beside the roads on the way to his pretty village. With all the rain we had this spring they are putting on a great show.

San Cassiano wildflowers San Cassiano wildflowers

San Cassiano wildflowers

San Cassiano wildflowers

San Cassiano wildflowers

San Cassiano wildflowers

San Cassiano wildflowers

San Cassiano wildflowers

San Cassiano wildflowers

 

San Cassiano wildflowers

San Cassiano wildflowers

 

Thank you Paul for letting us see your lovely neighbourhood.

Every season has something wonderful to offer in the villages of Bagni di Lucca.

 

Autumn in San Cassiano

San Cassiano is a beautiful village at any time, but in autumn it is especially lovely. Photographer and resident Paul Anthony Davies has been out and about with his camera…with excellent results.

autumn in San Cassiano

autumn in San Cassiano

autumn in San Cassiano

autumn in San Cassiano

autumn in San Cassiano

autumn in San Cassianoautumn in San Cassiano

The cross below was blown down from the church in the high winds in March and is now making a statement on the ground.

autumn in San Cassiano

The weather has been unseasonably warm in November, causing confusion with some of the bulbs, which have appeared at the wrong time.

autumn in San Cassiano

Thank you Paul, for taking us on an autumn tour of San Cassiano.

 

Abandoned

At the meeting point of the roads from Gombereto, Vetteglia, Montefegatesi and San Cassiano is an abandoned church…la Chiesa del Colle.

Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

At some time it must have been a popular refuge for those travelling between the villages. Now it is crumbling and being taken over by the surrounding forest.

Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

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Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

There is a path on the right of the church which must come from the villages below.

Chiesa del Colle

Behind the church is a pretty path leading through the trees to who knows where. I can see that it must have been a shady place to rest or perhaps to have a picnic.

Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

If only this old chestnut tree could talk.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see these old buildings restored?