By looking at the shape of the letters it dates back to the 8th or 9th century (photo 10).

From a semblance one piece span in the first part and above a sequence of five small walled arches in the perimeter of the presbytery, rise gothic arches made of simple ribs, that meet and cross over in a rhomb, in the vaults form a vague honeycombed plaiting in the shape of a seven pointed star above the apse and an eight pointed star in the small room (photo 11). The centre of the starred roses are united by a rib clipeus-key, adorned in the presbytery by a small Madonnina crowned and in glory with her child and in the small room a Christ with the Gospel open and benedictory hand. All the knots or joints are decorated by clipeus: some in the shape of a rose, others a daisy, others a shield (one has the symbol of master Andrea), others still of a human head, two with the symbol of the sun and the moon. The shelves on which the bases of the rib system of the ceiling lean on are of particular interest; they are half bust figures roughly sculpted, but full of vital force, a simple ornament with a common pattern, mentioned on the tombstone at the entrance, perhaps done by the helper Giacomo (photo 12 to 19). At the foot of the altar there are two baroque angels, which date back to the first years of the 1600. On the wall of the apse of the chapel lizards appear in a very ancient plaster, which represent palms that come out of cantharis-vases and “ruote cigliate” or alone without a very clear meaning. A mysterious inscription in Greek with mixed Latin and Greek letters, typical of the historical period that may be dated between 5th and 8th century is interesting (photo 20). On the left there is a big wooden crucifix of common style most probably of the 17th century. In the large grotto-room, towards the end one can see the original structure of an impressive baroque altar carved in polychrome wood and gilded restored the 80’s. It is a characteristic work done by a Slovenian school headed by master Bartolomeo Ortari from Caporetto, who worked between the end of 1600 and the beginning of 1700. Now on the altar there are photographic reprints of the original statues that are preserved in the Diocesan Museum of Udine (photo 21).

The internal route is an interesting tourist and speleological walk. The cavern, not completely explored yet, unwinds inside mount Craguonza through an uneven geological path and varied with subsequent narrowing, widening streams and ponds, between ravines covered by limestone concretion. The first illuminated part is open to the tourists for a couple of hundred metres, while the speleologists in 1974 went further on for another four kilometres.

After having crossed the initial part, which houses the church and the fortifications, going down a couple of steps, one reaches the natural floor of the grotto and enters a long tunnel. At the beginning of the speleological route on the left there is a mortar, dug into the rock. This according to some people was used to


Foto N. 25 - Percorso speleologico interno. - Notranjost jamskega rova. - Weg der Höhlenforscher. - Internal spelaeological route.

grind wheat, while others presumed that it was an Arian baptistery (photo 22). The cavity mainly uphill, which can easily be crossed in the first part, develops in the limestone rock, which is a typical Carsico phenomenon, it developed in the period between the Palaeocene superior and Eocene inferior (photo 23,24,25). The first modern explorations were done by the studious Achille Tellini between 1893 and 1898 who went 330mt into the grotto and did a study. Inside one first finds a small room; then the grotto becomes smaller until you reach the room dedicated to Tellini, and above it Lazzarini’s room is situated. Besides these rooms, a series of tunnels develop: the seam with ponds on the left, is of great interest and very charming, rich with stalac tites and stalagmites