3: The three churches at Tre Chiese, South Tyrol

Tre Chiese, also known by its German name Dreikirchen, is a group of three small churches between the villages of Barbiano and Villandro, in the province of Bolzano at the extreme north of Italy.

Probably constructed on a pagan religious site, the three churches are surprisingly close together, almost forming a single religious complex. The oldest is the church of Santa Geltrude, first documented in the 13thcentury. The churches of San Nicola and Santa Magdalena date to the fifteenth century. Late-gothic statues, altarpieces and fresco fragments survive in the churches, which can only be reached by walking half an hour through the region’s verdant alpine landscape.

The number 3 and its multiples are considered important by many traditions, which contributes to making IAS’s impending thirtieth anniversary a particularly momentous occurrence in the society’s history.  In light of this, IAS is asking members to consider donations in permutations of 3 and/or 30. Whether that means a donation of $3 or $300, be certain that any donation goes far in supporting IAS’s mission, programs, fellowships, charitable activities, and publications.

In addition, it is a great time tojoin or renew your IAS membership (all current memberships expire on 31 December of this year). Please encourage non-members (colleagues, friends, aficionados) working on or appreciative of Italian art, architecture, and visual culture across all media, periods, and career paths to join the IAS.

By Costanza Beltrami

Tre Chiese in a 1996 postcard. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Tre Chiese today. Photo: Oliver Abels on Wikimedia Commons.

Interior view of the church of Santa Magdalena. Photo: Wolfgang Moroder on Wikimedia Commons.

Interior view of the church of Santa Geltrude. Photo: Llorenzi on Wikimedia Commons.

Interior view of the church of San Nicola. Photo: Llorenzi on Wikimedia Commons.

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