The oratory of Saint Martino Oratorio di S. Martino

The oratory of Saint Martino is on the left bank of the Prino stream, from the Romanesque bridge that unites it to Clavi.

First indications on the existence of the oratory goes up to the 1585-1586 when the Nicolò Mascardi bishop in visits apostolic to the diocese of Albenga considers parish church of Saint George in Torrazza and its oratories. Interesting thing is that the oratory of Saint Martino missed in that lists and appear instead among the list of Dolcedo as rural oratorical in place of Torrazza.

In all the other documentations, following the 1600, the oratory results instead under the parish of S. George of Torrazza whose border, as the book 'Sacro e Vago Giardinello' says sono verso li Piani sino al mulino dei Letardi escluso, verso Civezza sino alla colla detta Valazza, verso Dolcedo sin al fossato dei Limoni, verso Caramagna Soprana fin sulla costa detta Poggio Brucciato, verso Montegrazie sin alla colla detta Vasia.

In a book of the accounts of the 1626 speak of a altarpiece ( planks over swears paint, usually in poplar wood, laid upon to the altar ) probably of Saint Martino, for which they paid £ 20 of Genoa. Followed the pastoral visits of Monsignor Francesco Costa bishop of Albenga, that were enough closer one to another.

In that of the 1633 he spoke again of the icon and asked ( in Latin and very bad handwriting ) to fill the void spaces about the swear headstone ( rectangular marble slab post on the altar ) and to perform works on the... Corpus Oratory e Chorum, ita ut fabrica proportionem habet, et Chorum ipse dealbetur etc. etc. Annotated even that... habet in reddito oratorium barrilem unum olei in anno...

Three years later, in the pastoral visit of the 1636, he wrote, with regard to the oratory of Saint Martino, Confirmamus decretum precedentis... mark that the estimated works in the pastoral visit of the 1633 were not performed.

The list of the works, drawn up in the 1645 in concomitance with the new pastoral visit, foresees ...vacua existentia ante lapialem sacram impleantur ... Icona dealbet ... et cancelli ante fores ligneas ... ut nullus possit ingredi in hoc oratorium ... followed by the interdiction if these works not ended within the year. From the accounting of the 'massaro' of the following year ( 1646 ), are however found ver only the entrances ( almses, dry fig trees  and caneva ( the hemp, much cultivated in the zone ) but there's no trace of works performed ).

This curl of pastoral visits lead in tumult the community. In a document of the 1645 remembers that even being forbidden to pay this type of expenses the subjects are able, if they want, to pay the half without however that it becomes an obligation and with the awareness that the concession can be annuled in every moment.

The 'Sacro e Vago Giardinello', commissioned by Monsignor Francesco Costa bishop of Albenga, seems to be the synthesis of this work of monitoring in the preceding years in all the diocese and the author G.A.Panero, with regard to Saint Martino wrote that ha redditi certi che servono per la riparazione d'esso ed in particoiáre un barrile di oglio annuo. Nel detto oratorio vi è un legato de iure patronato di P. Giorgio Sciorato e vi celebra due messe per redditi di 10 scudi di capitale.

The data of the inventory of Torrazza give confirmation that the oratory was propietor of lands.

With the pastoral visit of the 1656 he mentions works like wooden gates and grilles and not misses the exhortation to 'massari' and community to intervene quickly but the execution of the works not finds confirmation in the accounts. Only in the 1693 appear expenses to arrange the saint sepulchre ( still in the '50 years was built a sepulchre in every oratory, visited in the night of the holy thursday from the various brotherhoods ) to work the lands a day with oxes and six with mens ( a day with woman was paid the half ) and even £ 5 of Genoa for the altarpiece of Saint Martino ( the paint of Saint Martino placed to the right of the Lady is preserveded now in the oratory of S. John Baptist in Torrazza and seems be of the '600 with traces of a following restoration ).

In the period 1740-1754 the book of the accounts repeat always: olives, olive residues, dry fig trees, ropes for chimes and lamp ... more a book for the stuff of Saint George. In 1755 besides the usual expenses as the wax for the candles purchased by the prior of the SS. Rosary ( besides the company of the SS. Rosary, there is that of the Carmine, that of the SS. Swears, that of the S. Spirit, that of the Guardian Angel and of the Disciplined of Saint John Baptist ) and the sung harvest, speak of that for the balconies of the oratory.

From that year the accounts of Saint Martino come replaced, on the same book, from that of the brotherhood of the Disciplined of Saint John Baptist that takes in load the chapel ( call even so in the indications of the inventory ).

The brotherhood of the Disciplined of Saint John Baptist is in that period much influential. In its oratory are assembled already in the '600 for avarie e per salvar li conti di tutta la comunità  and a post safe in the oratory served for important documents. At the end of the '700 the oratory comes destined at school in the weekdays and for the congregation in the holidays.

Of the oratory not has found more newses up to the 181 when the maire of Torrazza informs that of Porto Maurizio on the state of all the oratories.

Of the oratory of Saint Martino says that is set on the end of the inferior village, pass the bridge and on the plaza d'esso evvi l'ultima casa abbittata. Evvi pure la cappella del signor Niccolò Ferrari posta attigua alla casa abbittata. The old person even speak of ruins placed over the oratory, now disappeared.

The oratory comes restructured in the October of the 1824 even if already previously for example in the 1818 are celebrated sung masses.

The grounds belonging to the oratory are rented and in the 1844 deliberation give them still in location for other 9 years, even if the thick is least.

The mortmain does its entry in the documentation in the 1857 and so every year till the 1868, when begin the practices terminated in the 1872 with the transfer of the oratory of Saint Martin to the state.

In the 1928 comes give an indemnification for the fact works with the passage of the electric line ( May 19, 1928, the prior Bracco Lorenzo receives on behalf of the administration of the oratory L. 400 for comunione di parte del muro di detto oratorio e per infissi nel muro e sul tetto per sostegno pali, fili e reti e servitù di passaggio della linea elettrica) and then in the 1951 there is a reimbursement for the restoration of the bells removed in the II world war ( regal decree April 23, 1942 ). Up to the beginning of the '60 years, the procession of the octave of the Corpus Christi, arrives up to the oratory and in november is celebrated Saint Martino.

In the '70 years from the oratory now in disuse, but never officially desecrated, last things are brought in the oratory of Saint John Baptist, a paint with Saint Martino, perhaps the famous altarpiece.

Removals from a search of the classical high school 'E. De Amicis' from Imperia

The day 28 February 2000 in Imperia, with notarial fit, was constituted the committee for the restoration of the bridge of Saint Martino in Clavi of Imperia. the committee has among its projects even the restoration of the church of Saint Martino, adjoining to the bridge.

Committee for the restoration of the bridge of Saint Martino in Clavi of Imperia

Logo del Comitato

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