Church and Convent
of Anthony the Great
XVII century



The Mendicant Orders in Lucania have spread rapidly and vigorously since 1300: the Franciscan settlements in Basilicata, up to the Napoleonic suppressions, there were 117 of them. The spiritual movement promoted by the Franciscan Friars Minor favored considerably the formation of the religious, artistic and cultural heritage of the region affecting every territory of Basilicata. After the Grancie di Saint Benedict and those of Saint Bernard, they developed in Maratea, along the external routes of the historic center, a series of conventual complexes, including the Convent of S. Anthony of Capuchins. This was built around 1615 at the expense of the spouses Del Pino and Pace, also founders of the Convent of the Salesians and Women Nuns.

Opened in 1935, it was kept by the Capuchin friars, who lived on pure alms and not on rents, until 1866 and suffered a looting on the occasion of the attack on the Fort di Maratea Superiore. At the beginning of the twentieth century it was the seat of the Lucano boarding school, later it brought the denomination of Orphanage of the Sacred Heart.

The Convent was sacked on the occasion of the attack on the Fort of Maratea Superiore.

Pacicchelli in the "History of the realm of Naples" defines it as "the most beautiful Convent in the province for pleasant posture and not for size".

The Convent has the typical characteristics of the Capuchin Convents: Very simple church with two small naves separated by round arches with a barrel ceiling, low and narrow corridors, narrow cells and small cloister with cockpit.

The building contains the coeval church, dedicated to St. Anthony the Great, whose entrance is in the corner formed by the two visible facades of the convent. The church, which presents all the characteristics of the buildings built by order of the Capuchins, that is, extreme simplicity and formal rigor, it is made up of two small naves, the central one of which is the largest, separated from each other by round arches. The ceiling is made of a barrel with crosses framed by stucco frames. On the side walls of the two naves there are small altars and glass niches with moldings containing statues, including the wooden one of S. Roch, dating back to the early 1800s, which is located on the second altar of the left wall. But the complex of the high altar is very interesting artistically, covered with polished black marble and with a beautiful tabernacle. Of greater interest is the polyptych above it, dating back to the first half of the 17th century, by unknown author. On the central table there is depicted Antonio in hieratic expression, this is separated from the smaller side tables, framed by fine inlays, by means of two protruding and richly worked pilasters. The whole, the altar and the polyptych, has a unitary aspect and, possessing a remarkable sobriety, it becomes an uncommon artistic and historical testimony.

Currently the Convent is home to the offices of the Operational Center of the Superintendence for Fine Arts and Landscape of Basilicata.