In Pregasio it is possible to visit the Church of San Marco, dedicated to the Holy Evangelist and founder of the Christian community of Alexandria, where he was martyred. The church is located along the road that leads into the centre of the village.
From small place of worship to real church
Initially, the church of San Marco had simple stone walls and no roof. The church was firstly mentioned in a decree by Carlo Borromeo, the archbishop of Milan, in 1580.
The decree was issued to list the improvements needed to make the church suitable to become a place of worship.
The walls were added only later, separating the small cemetery from the church, and the interior was decorated with some crucifixes. The bell tower and the vault of the church were built later, after the mid-17th century.
The interior of the church
The interior of the church is very simple, just like the exterior: it has a central altar and a smaller one, placed on the side.
The altarpiece on the main altar depicts San Marco bent over the Gospel; it is the work of painter Nicolò Grisani, very active in the Brescia and Val Camonica area in the early 1600s.
The smaller altar is dedicated to the Madonna, while the figures decorating the surrounding walls are unfortunately in poor condition. Despite this, we can still read an old prayer engraved on the altar, which reads “Tu nemico proteggici e nell’ora della morte accoglici” (Enemy, please protect us and welcome us at the time of our death).
Some paintings were partially restored in 1945 by a painter from Trentino, Paolo Valentini, to give thanks at the end of the war. Above the front door there’s a plaque remembering the restoration.
Curious facts: the saint from Venice
The cult of San Marco became common in the Tremosine sul Garda area during the period of the Republic of Venice, as the holy martyr was the patron saint of Venice. The lion, symbol of San Marco, is often found in all territories conquered by the Venetians.