Castle of Bracciano

Castle of Bracciano

The Castle of Bracciano is one of the main tourist attractions of our town. A magnificent example of Renaissance's defensive castles. Transformed later into a thriving and busy court. Every year it attracts thousands of people who decide to visit the numerous rooms of the museum ..

San Sebastiano

Painting of S. Sebastiano kept in the Cathedral of St. Stephen

The patron saint of Bracciano is Saint Sebastiano.

Currently, the celebration takes place the first Sunday of May and January 20th. After the Mass Solenna celebrated in the Cathedral of Santo Stefano, together with the various authorities and the committiee of the Town, a walk in procession along the streets of the village. In the afternoon, on the other hand, in Piazza IV Novembre (Piazza del Comune) performs the musical band of the country.

History of the Church of San Sebastiano Martire

Was Born in Narbonne, a french city, toward the year 256 ad from an illustrious family.

Lost his father still young and grew up under christian teachings of courage and generosity from his mother.

He left for Rome, in defense of Christians persecuted in a special way to try and prevent that were forced to abjure.

He enlisted in the army and became High Official so that he could exercise, with the militia, as a missionary of the Faith. But, in fulfilling his mission, he was betrayed by a courtier, revealing to Diocletian the truth, Emperor of the time that he had much to hate christians, the religion of Sebastiano.

Sebastiano was called by the Emperor to prove one’s innocence, but he hated lying, he told the truth and was sentenced to death, on the Palatino was tied to a tree, and striked by arrows. Supposing that he was dead soldiers left him on the place, but was not dead. Some servants brought him to Priest Policarpo who cured the serious wounds. Now aware of his mission, Sebastiano, returned to Diocletian and urge him to repent himself to be saved from the wrath of the Lord, but the Emperor replies by whipping him violently and then made him drown in the Cloaca Maxima.

History of the Feast

This event has a very ancient tradition, the first documents that bring news on the progress, dating back to 1554, at the time of the Duke of Bracciano, Paolo Giordano Orsini.

Some documents of 1627 and 1927, reported as the date of celebration the January 20th. The event was celebrated with a scheme well delineated: reading of vespri, a solemn mass and, finally, a procession.

From a script of 1779 shows that the feast was celebrated on the first Sunday of May, for the will of it’s people, this is probably due to the fact that all the feasts were moved to a warmer period.

The first news of the first feast dated back in 1554 in a script of May 5th, with which they commended the conduct of the mass and the martyr in his glory.

The document of 1554

1st May 1558 there were taken important measures, as regards of the choice of the lord of the feast, which was picked among the twelve lords imbossolati.

Once identified the lord, he had to remain in office for 12 years and not had to pay duties taxes chambers and council but, if he refused, the lord had to compensate a fine of 50 shields.

The “Feast of May”, defined in the document of 1554, was abandoned and then resumed in 1571, the feast cost the sum of 50 Shields, we also have the testimony, that during the period of napoleonic domination (1813) the patronal feast was celebrated even though it was on the same date of the coronation of Napoleon.

In 1574 the feast was taken cared by the confraternity Braccianese,called “Mercy and St. Sebastiano”, that was occupied treating the condemned to death and the pilgrims; it was protected by the Duke Orsini and in a document of 1574 there is also some discussion of how were maintained the costs so they couldn’t become expensive.

The feast was financed by the community, but the costs changed every year because of the economic conditions; in that period were also organised palio runs (in 1621 it was paid 40 scudi to organize), fairs (in 1614 the Duke of Bracciano decided to organize a fair in Viterbo, at that time), horse racing, parades, messe sing and concerts.

In 1700 there started to play comedies during the feast of the patron saint and in 1800 this event was a flourishing particular, thanks to substantial financing of the council to the celebration and the greater solemnity of the processions.

Currently, the celebration is still very much felt by the citizens Braccianesi.

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