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Church of Santa Maria in Binda


The old church of Santa Maria in Binda rises solitary among the fields below the town. It was built during the reign of the Lombards in the 8th century and takes its name from the locality. Binda, in Lombard, means a strip of land and the church is in fact situated on a narrow strip of land between the town and the Ticino. Originally dedicated to the cult of the dead, the church was used for funerals and burials are recorded in 1680 and 1788 in Santa Maria in Binda. This is confirmed by the fact that during excavation work on the nearby canal in 1904 a number of tombs were found containing grave goods from the Lombard period. These can now be seen in the museum of Castello Sforzesco in Milan. The church has undergone extension work over the centuries, the last being the construction of the neo-Romanesque belfry on the southern side in 1936. There are also some noteworthy frescoes from the 16th century on the walls of the church interior.