Oratory of San Lorenzo and Marco dei Battuti is built close to the medieval walls of the village of Serravalle and near the South Gate in a site that is acquired by the Confraternity of the Battuti. The interior of the Oratory is almost completely covered with frescoes, made during the first half of the fifteenth century by various artists, depicting Stories of S. Lorenzo and Stories of St. Mark, along the walls, the four Evangelists and one Magnificent Crucifixion at the high altar.
Oratorio dei SS. Lorenzo e Marco dei Battuti History
The Oratory of Saints Lorenzo and Marco was erected by the Confraternity of Santa Maria dei Battuti, so called because, among other penitential practices, they performed a public procession in which they beat themselves with an instrument called discipline or scourge.
This Confraternity was a lay organization which dedicated itself to the assistance of the needy, providing their "material" and "spiritual" care at the "hospital" and the adjacent chapel; it was officially established in 1313, but settled in this place perhaps as early as the end of the thirteenth century. The interior of the Oratory is decorated with a suggestive cycle of frescoes, made in the course of the first half of the fifteenth century by various artists, referable to the so-called "devotional Gothic painting"; they depict a splendid Crucifixion at the altar; the Stories of S. Lorenzo and the Stories of S. Marco, along the walls; the four Evangelists and the Doctors of the Church, on the vaults of the two spans.
The Oratory underwent various vicissitudes over the centuries, the most sensational of which was its use in 1797, during the occupation of the Napoleonic troops, as a field kitchen; moreover, in the following century the windows were enlarged, with the consequent loss of part of the internal decoration, and the last span was modified for the construction of the adjacent "Clock Tower" in place of the ancient "Porta San Lorenzo" .