Rock church and Site of interest

Rupestrian figurative culture is full of medieval graffiti. Numerous Christian crosses were engraved over the years onto the rock walls of many of the medieval rock churches in the area. For example, there is a cross with Golgotha ​​that was carved into one of the walls of the church of the Madonna delle Tre Porte, while the carved face of a warrior, a knight on horseback and a ship can be found inside a cave in the area of Lucignano, in the Zambrone  or San Bruno valley. Within a rock church located in the Savorra area, there are the caved graffiti figures of horses, ships and soldiers, (both on foot and on horseback), as well as towers and castles with triangular flags with crosses on them and peacocks. Graffiti representing boats, horses, knights, towers and castles, are interpreted as the ex-voto of Crusaders. Christians considered the cross or the church as symbols of salvation. The boat represents the very image of the church, while the peacock represents the emblem of Christ in Christian mystical symbolism. In the church of Santa Maria della Valle for example, a peacock is carved as a symbol of the resurrection. The anchor is a symbol of faith, and King Solomon’s Knot, a symbol of one’s becoming liberated from sin and from death. In the church of San Giovanni in Monterrone, in addition to Solomon’s Knots, there is also the seal of King Solomon and the Pentacle, which has a talismanic value. In the church of Santa Maria de Olivara there are instead, the three mysterious heads of archbishops. Other medieval graffiti symbols can be found in the curved arch over the main entrance of the Cathedral, depicting a horse and the medieval game of nine men’s morris, symbol of Jerusalem’s triple walls.


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