Since its very beginning, the 13th century chapel, contemporaneous with the main tower, has been at the heart of the life of Carbonana Castle. With the exception of relatively short periods of disuse, the chapel has been a place of spiritual refuge and Roman Catholic liturgical celebrations for some 800 years. It stood to reason that this tradition be maintained as the restoration of the castle was undertaken (2012-2015).
The chapel and the tempera painting on the altar wall were in considerable disrepair when the castle was bought in 2011. Through expert restoration, executed by COO.BE.C. of Spoleto (Read the restoration report), the painting was brought back to life albeit only insofar as possible as much of the original was permanently lost a long time ago. The painting of the Madonna and Child is of the early 1500’s and though the author cannot be ascertained he is believed to have been part of the artists that found favour at the court of the Duke of Urbino, the city where Raphael was born.
The restored chapel has returned to its original vocation. A new altar was designed by Kosta Makrisopoulos and executed by master blacksmith Stefan Dürst in Canada and shipped to Italy. The bishop of Gubbio, HE Mario Ceccobelli, blessed the new altar in March 2016.
The pews in the chapel are from the 17th century and were once in the church of San Secondo in Gubbio where the Counts of Carbonana worshiped and some are laid to rest there. The pews were expertly restored by Minelli Marcello & Co. of Gubbio.
The wooden statue of Saint Francis of Assisi, which now adorns the chapel, is believed to be from the 18th century and was restored by COO.BE.C..
The beautiful round stained glass window is the work of Madalena Forenza of the prestigious stained glass workshop Studio Moretti Caselli of Perugia.
High above the chapel a new bell made by the thousand year old foundry Pontificia Fonderia Marinelli of Agnone (IS) bears the Latin inscription which reads, in part, …et nunc vox mea laeta resurgit (“and now my voice joyously relives”). Carbonane MMXIII”. Like the chapel it is dedicated to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary whose feast day recurs on September 8th.