Castles, Chapels and Churches

The Poia castle

The Castelpoggio castle (or “Poia castle”, from the name of the hamlet where it’s located) with its granite walls is one of Ponte di Legno more typical buildings; built in the first half of the XX century by the count Zanchi, currently houses a series of apartments. Several politics and sport celebrities have resided in its halls.

Ponte di Legno Parish church

La chiesa della SS. Trinità, edificata sulla fine del XVI secolo, è uno splendido esempio dell’arte sacra in alta Valle Camonica; dipinti e affreschi si mescolano con l’arte lignea tipica della zona alpina, offrendo un quadro d’insieme notevole; di particolare pregio l’altare maggiore oltre che l’organo, di metà ottocento. Il tetto, andato distrutto durante il bombardamento austriaco del 1917 è stato restaurato negli anni ’70.


Dead’s Chapel of Zoanno

Built by the hamlet’s population as an ex-voto for having survived the pest of 1630, it’s a building unique in the valley, similar –although on another scale- to structures such as “San Bernardino alle ossa” in Milan.
Visitors are met by a tympanum where is depicted a scene from 1 Maccabees accompanied by the writing “misit Hierosolimam offerre pro peccatis mortuorum duodecim milia drachmas” (“[Joshua] sent to Jerusalem 12000 drachmas as an offering [to atone] for the sins of the dead”).
In the interior a dark setting greets the visitors: the only furniture are some shrines which contain human skulls, grim example of 17th-century memento mori . According to the legend the skulls are those of a group of pious Zoanno’s men that died in Milan during the epidemic. While their bones were being carried back to the hamlet, the church’s bells started ringing by themselves. The fact led the townfolks to build an ossuary, transformed in a chapel during the XIX century by a local priest, don Balardini.

Sacred art: the figure of Ettore Calvelli

Walking through the hamlet of Poia you may see some bronze medallions fixed to the church’s doors: are some of the works created by Ettore Calvelli for his adoptive community.
Bronze sculptor of international renown, he collaborated with FAO and ONU and his works are exhibited at the Vatican Museums and in various city in Italy; he directed for a long time the local parochial museum of sacred art, where are visible some of his brozes.