The church of San Filippo d’Agira, dating back to the thirteenth century, stands in the center of the homonymous district. As a memorial stone walled up near the entrance door (Sapientia edificavit sibi domū sub honor B. Philippi 1273), the current church, which today has a seventeenth-century appearance, was built starting in 1273. Over time, the church of San Filippo has replaced the parish church affected by static precariousness several times, becoming an important reception church that administered a significant wealth of money and grain censuses, as well as numerous agricultural land and woods. Over the centuries, the church of San Filippo has boasted the presence of numerous altars and chapels, assigned to the wealthiest families of Laurito, sacred figures and wooden statuettes, which belonged to the confreres of the Congregation of San Filippo, who gathered in the church every Sunday to celebrate the divine offices. One of these sculptures could be identified with the one kept in the Diocesan Museum of Vallo della Lucania, attributed to an unknown Neapolitan active in the eighteenth century. The heavily repainted panel with the Madonna del Rosario also belonged to the church, now housed in the Diocesan Museum of Vallo della Lucania. The work was created in 1578 by a local artist, whose signature is unfortunately only partially legible, influenced by that polydoresque current that will make its echo felt in Naples until the end of the sixteenth century. With a single nave, with fake arches on the right wall and three arches on the left, the building has the entrance portal on a side facade. The reason for this peculiarity could derive from the fact that it had incorporated, in the area opposite to the apse, a Gothic chapel, built in the 12th century, which, according to tradition, was part of the ducal palace owned by the Monforte, lords of Laurito. The walls and cross vault of this chapel are decorated with frescoes, the restoration of which was completed in 1986. In the church there is the bust of San Filippo d'Agira, whose cult was introduced in Laurito probably between the eighth and eleventh centuries, when Greek monks from the convent of Agira, where the Saint was venerated, branched out in other Italian regions to avoid the persecutions following the 726 edict of the Eastern Emperor Leo III Isauric, which prohibited the cult of sacred images. It dates back to the same period, but could even be dated to the second half of the seventeenth century (the lack of the pedalboard would attest to this), a recently restored pipe organ. The carved wooden case is polychrome and the names of the probable clients of the work are legible on the front. The friezes that decorate most of the front are finely carved and decorated with silver leaf covered with mecca paint; moreover, both the doors and the other wooden surfaces are decorated with floral designs of a clear eighteenth-century style. - Text by Pro Loco Laurito
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