statua-di-san-cristoforo credit: Mauro Piergigli

Statue of San Cristoforo

The 3.5-metre-high statue, is located behind the high altar. It is made of oak wood and depicts Saint Christopher, the patron saint of Barga.

Christopher is wearing regal clothes: a blue robe that represents peace of mind and a purple cloak. Both Christopher and the baby he is carrying are wearing crowns in an obvious imagery that indicates his role as representative of the King (Christ). In the other hand he is holding a huge stick.

During the restoration the large stick was replaced, in addition to the statue literally sprung a pair of legs. In fact, originally, the cloak reached down to the water below but, during the restoration, the robe was considerably shortened and, to this day, it is possible to see the saint’s boots.

Tradition has it that the statue was moved regularly and was transported for processions and rituals aboard a wagon; for example, during sieges, it was placed on the city walls to both taunt and intimidate the besiegers. In 1937 the statue was restored and several arrowheads were found embedded within it, backing up the ‘defensive use’ theory.

Source: La guida di Barga

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