Parish Church, Queen Maria (Maria Königin)
LASA VENATO ARABESCATO®™ as a symbol for the many impressions, ups and downs in people's lives.
In 2002, the Maria Königin (Queen Maria) parish church in Prato allo Stelvio (Prad on the Stilfserjoch) underwent a general reconstruction within a four-month period. The floor of the main building of the church, built between 1956 and 1958 in the style of post-war functionalism, was covered with large-format LASA VENATO AREBESCATO®™ floor slabs and the altar staircase and the entire altar room of the post-modern building with LASA BIANCO ORTLES®™ slabs. The reconstruction was based on the ideas and plans of the then priest, Reverend Josef Ploner. The reconstruction was carried out under the direction of the Malles Venosta (Mals) based Architecture- und Engineer Office: Patscheider & Partner.
The conversion work, which began on 8 April 2002 and was completed shortly before the Feast of the Assumption on 15 August of the same year, resulted in a reorientation of the entire interior design of the church in terms of both content and concept. Reverend Ploner envisioned a structural construction of the church according to life cycles. Thus the baptismal font in the former vestry/storage chapel, as an element of the first sacrament for a Christian, was moved to the very front of the entrance area of the church. The high altar at the rear was removed and the 4-metre long altar table made of Lasa Onyx was redesigned into a folk altar on a new radiant white LASA BIANCO ORTLES®™ floor. The Ambo (pulpit), made of Lasa Onyx too, also found a new place closer to the believers at the beginning of the white solid stairs made of Lasa marble. The human life cycle comes to an end at the rear of the church with the newly designed bereavement chapel. The prayer benches now arranged in the nave between the baptismal font and the bereavement room symbolise human life, and the marble floor in the LASA VENATO AREBESCATO®™ variety, comparable to annual rings, symbolises the many impressions, highs and lows that occur in human life.
In his symbolic new conception of the church, Reverend Josef Ploner deliberately opted for building materials from the region. He thus continued a tradition, as the use of Lasa marble to decorate sacred buildings dates back centuries. There are numerous churches and sacred buildings in the Venosta Valley (Vinschgau) and neighbouring Grisons (Switzerland) which have been furnished with Lasa marble by their owners. This dates back to the Christianisation period of the Middle Ages.