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Church of San Gotthard

A certain date of the construction of the church entitled to San Gotthard is not available; from the minutes of the pastoral visits of the Bishop of Padova, we can know that a chapel, entitled to San Gotthard, existed in the beginning of XVII century, with one altar and whose consecration was done around the end of 1674 (Cardinal Mons. Gregorio Barbarigo). In these minutes of the Parish of Fonzaso, we can read about a rustic church in the middle of Arten, on the slopes of mountain Aurin, and another rustic church (consacred in 1503) entitled to San Nicolò, on the slopes of mountain Avena.
Later, as written in various documentations and historical evidences, various works of expansion and adaptation to the new reality, changed the building. The church with a Dorico-Corinzio style, a nave of 150 square meters and the choir of 30 square meters, is not ancient, indeed it was built between 1810 and 1820 for a population of six hundred people, considering that in this period residents of Arten was around three hundred, and in the same time the bell tower was built, with the structure attacked to the old plant.
In following years, towards the end of 1800, residents grew until two thousand people and the church became inadequate to the exigencies of community, so there was the problem of the enlargement of this. Meanwhile the royal road driveway was built, it crossed the center of the village and it connected Feltre with Fonzaso, passing close to the bell tower.
In 1921, curia of Arten, became Parish, separated from the one of Fonzaso. After few years the enlargement of the church was ordered and around the end of 1930 drafts of project were made. Approvals and executive projects of the enlargement, made by architects Don Gennari dei Minori and Prof. Achille Vettorazzo di Preganziol, were definitely deposited in July 1931.
Chiesa di San Gottardo The new church has a cross shape plant, with the enlargement towards north-est, occupying a part of the square, with a shift of the Major Altar and with a variation of the main entrance on the side south-west, changing the original Presbytery and Choir, in a portico, lateral to the main road, in direction Feltre-Fonzaso, indeed of the first plant only side walls, a part of the main front and a flooring recently settled remain visible. From local news, the ceremony of laying the first stone took place on 31st March 1932, with work quickly done, with stone removed from mount Avena, so that on July of the same year the enlargement had already been done. During works, architects decided a variation, with the insertion of the central dome that soon was built by local workers, under the constant guidance of masters Pietro Dalla Giustina and Virgilio Toigo; towards the end of October the church with the dome had been completed and tested.
La Navata della Chiesa In spring 1933, the works was resumed and they completed plasters with frames inside and outside; old vestries were demolished and the new ones were built close to the new Presbytery; the Main Altar, the floor of the Choir, the balustrades, the chairs were added and the outside square was arranged. In 1934 other works on the exterior were done, like the lobby that reminds the old Choir (now portico), plasters of the walls of the old church to complete infills, accomodation of the cover, formation of covers on the lateral doors and a general painting inside and outside. Always in winter 1934, the glass window of Christ the King was added above the entrance of the main nave, then the floor of the enlargement was completed with the laying of marble plates of “Verdello”(light green) and “Rosso Asiago” (red from Asiago), and the eight columns of the dome were covered with “Rosso Asiago”, and to complete the work the Baptistery was added.
A new project for the bell tower was also proposed, expected on south-east of the enlarged church, with the demolishion of the existing one (attuale), but Royal Governament and Committee didn’t released approval. Due to war period and other economic problems, they approved only an inside painting of the church dating 1955.