Wednesday, August 17, 2011
L'incompiuta in Brendola
The imposing yet hauntingly incomplete church of Brendola, a few miles outside of Vicenza at the edge of the Berici hills.
The towering building could be seen in the surrounding landscape, as this photostream beautifully illustrates. Started in the 20s under Mussolini, the church's construction was a fulfillment of a local big-wig's dream, a dream that was to be ceased first temporarily and now indefinitely during the outbreak of World War II. Why was it abandoned? A brief research online did not provide any clues, but I'm guessing because it is, beyond being a holy Christian space, a manifestation of Fascist architecture and a symbol of the regime that the Italians just wanted to be rid of by the end of the war. Although the city's citizens slowly warmed up to the building, I believe its main appeal is its almost romantic decay (and apparently, the cavernous and relative isolation of the interior makes it a haven for drug dealers, drug users, sex workers, and all kinds of naughtiness).
Around 2008, a major proposal by the local government to do something with the church was passed by the citizens of Brendola. Plans were even submitted on how best to incorporate the building with the town and its inhabitants. Alas, by 2011, it still stands unrefurbished, suffering (or enjoying?) its slow death.