Judith and the Renovation

15 Jan

After all the symbolism of the past few days, I need to get my hands on something solid.  Like a stone wall.

Like the stone walls of Narni in the Umbria Region of Italy.  Back in the day – meaning during the Roman Empire – Narni, Italy was an important city along the roads to the Center of the Universe.  Unfortunately, it was the road that Barbarian tribes used to reach Rome in 546 for the sack by the Gothic king Totila – who also stopped to tear down the first stone walls built to protect the city of Narni.

After back-and-forth over the centuries, a Cathedral was built just outside the ancient Roman city walls in 12th century.  Radical changes were made as Narni became an influential religious center: the Roman Forum was replaced with the Platea Major (the main square) where the Palazzo del Podesta and the Palazzo dei Priori were created (1273) – and where they still sit today.  To the right of the entrance to the Palazzo is where the Cappella del SS Salvatore once stood and a false loggia was created around 1495.  But original carvings from the chapel remain: Judith and Holofernes, fantastic animals, a hunting hawk and knights jousting.


Facade of the Palazzo del Podestà, Narni,

Minolta DSC

Facade of the Palazzo del Podestà, Narni,











Does anyone else find the arrangement of Judith on the wall to be a little strange?  Never mind, it’s just my OCD. I can only assume that the story was added to the wall as a political warning to somebody about small, unassuming forces rising up to conquer Medieval super-powers.

One could say the years have not been kind to Judith and her maid, unless you consider they at least 740 years old in which case they appear to be in fantastic shape!  On the other hand, Holofernes still looks a little puny.

Judith (1273) Palazzo dei Podestà, Narni

Detail of Facade of Palazzo del Podesta, Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1273, Narni, Italy – photo by nicnac1000


Many thanks to nicnac1000 for sharing the detailed photo of Judith and to Lynda Evans for sharing a description of Narni in her Key to Umbria.  I felt like I was almost there.

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Posted by on January 15, 2015 in Exploring


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