The church of Spormaggiore has a parish church origin. The parish, spread also across central and north Italy, was at first a religious institution and social as well. It assumed the prerogative of the font, the supervision of funerals and the right of decimation.
The old Church
The old Church was conceived for the entire parish church population of Sporo and was built together with the Romanesque bell tower around 1295.
In 1370 the first building was totally reconstructed and consecrated by the suffragan bishop of Trento in 1443.
Nowadays it has a rectangular plan, characterized by the lack of the apse due to the construction of the new parish church.
The sloping roof, broken by elegant triangular stone counterforts ending in book-rest, give a push high up to masses.
Before the main entrance, there is a beautiful rectangular plan atrium in renaissance style where it is possible to admire the traces of ancient frescos, among which one portraying Saint Vigilio, titular of the church. The pointed arch portal , with really beautiful raised patterns dates 1686.
The inside has one nave and three network-vault, spans, which ribbings start from small columns on the walls. On the stone knots shields standing on the roof ribbings, the benefactor families coat of arms are sculptured.
The presbytery, directly connected to the nave, is limited by two gothic arcades, one of which has a head sculptured in its key and accordingly to the tradition it portrays the God Annone.
The high altar dated 1608, is in golden and carved wood, with two columns decorated with shoots, flowers and fruits. At the foot of it there are the coat of arms of Spaur and Madruzzo,and Crivelli families.
On the tympanum stand Father God, symbol of perfection, divine and trinity, together with a huge crown, symbol of royalty.
The altar-piece of Martino Teofilo Polacco dates 1614 and portrays Mary’s cowing and the glory of Saints: Saint Vigilio is portrayed in pontifical habit with a wooden clog nearby, the three Anaunian martyrs Sisinio, Martirio and Alexander; Saint Romedio near a bear, Saint Massenza the eldest and Saint Emerenziana with a palm and a stone. Then Saint John the Baptist child and Saint Simonino. High above Mary with the Holy spirit, Christ and the Father holding the entire world in his hands.
The present cantin is the old pulpit. At the foot of it stands a gravestone displaying the date 1618. Nearby there is a book-rest obtained from previous structures.
On the right of the altar, the statue of Saint John Napomuceno on the walls Saint Paul holding the sword symbol of God’s words “more penetrating than a double edge sword” (Eb 4,12), and finally Saint Peter, holding the key symbol of power received from God.
At the bottom there is the choir, a polychrome wooden sculpture dated 1663. It portrays seven singing angels or people. Over, there is a fretwork rose without light and just visible from the inside.
On the left side, near the entrance, stands the funeral wooden shield of Count Pancrazio Spaur. The coat of arms of Spaur and Lichtenberg families are carved on it. All around a German written in gothic type says: “On Saturday 1499, after Saint Martin, in the name of God, the well-born, noble and brave knight Pancrazio Spaur died, hereditary cup-bearer of Tyrol”.
Lo Scudo Funerario
Francesco Vigilio, count of Sporo Rovina, born in the castle of Spormaggiore on 6th January 1609, Bishop of Chiems, in memory of his father, mother and himself, places the red marble sepulchral monument.
The Latin inscription says: “to the Counts of Sporo ancestral nobility of birth, who wrote several deaths over this old grave, with a bond alphabet not of a single century. Now this marble monument, which a devout sculptor exposed to the light so that alive people could understand that only fame and the consciousness of well done live forever, entrusted to descendants Francesco Vigilio, Count of Sporo, Bishop of Chiems, son of Giorgio Federico, Count of Sporo, and Barbara Countess Lodron, in the year 1666”.
At ground level is placed the white marble gravestone where the coat of arms of Spaur-Lichtenberg. is sculptured. Another gravestone is placed at the entrance, on the right of the coat of arms of Altspaur