The earliest references to Cosa date back to the 12th century. In the 13th century it is mentioned in the name of the parish church “Plebs St. Giorgii de Cosa”, so called probably as it was near the river Cosa.
The hamlet had a castle on whose foundations the earls of Spilimbergo built a palace, then owned by the earls Attimis-Maniago (16th – 18th centuries).
The Parish Church
The church is dedicated to the Apostle St. Thomas. The construction of the present building started in 1846 on the same place of a previous church; only a few remains are left of the earliest construction.
The new church (fig. 25), built by master mason Giacomo Basso and completed in 1870, has a facade in Neo-classical style with four pilasters surmounted by a tympanum with a central eye, a small tympanum above the central door and two war memorials with the names of the soldiers who died in World War I.
The interior has a single nave and the presbytery, at a higher level, with the high altar in polychromatic marbles of the end of 1600. It is attributed to the Venetian sculptors Bettamelli, and comes from the old church. At the sides of the altar two wooden statues of the Apostles Peter and Paul (fig. 26) are placed, which date back to the first half of the 20th century.
The holy-water stoup and the baptismal font e il fonte battesimale, date back to 1700, the last one with a more recent wooden part.
The paintings (oil on canvas) representing the Resurrected Jesus Christ in the background of the presbytery and the Last Judgement on the ceiling of the nave, both made by Lino Lenarduzzi in 1990 are also of a certain interest.
Castello di Cosa
The 17th century impressive building (fig. 27), surrounded by a large park with embattled walls, was built on an ancient castle, of which nowadays no remains are left.
Originally property of the earls of Spilimbergo, as a consequence of a marriage, it passed to the earls Attimis-Maniago.
The building suffered fires and destructions during World War I and such was its decay that it had been transformed into a barn and a warehouse. Intelligent restoration works saved it, and nowadays it consists of a long 17th century structure with one of the low towers built at the corners at the beginning of the 18th century.
The façade, between two jutting out structures, shows, in its central part, six pilasters supported by the first-storey moulding and topped by a tympanum. A symmetrical flight of stairs leads to the hall and the many rooms of the main floor. The interior, which had suffered the greatest destruction, shows decorations of the Friulian artist Mario Ribassi.
Built on the south walls, there is the Oratory of St. Antony (fig. 28), a chapel with a rectangular room and a polygonal apse. On the facade, above the door, there is a framed round–arched niche with a beautiful statue of St. Antony. In the interior, on the altar, three white marble statues are placed. They represent: St. Antony from Padua, Franciscan and famous preacher; St Luis Gonzaga, Jesuit and an example of charity; St. John Nepomuceno, priest and martyr. All the statues, proportioned and skilfully sculpted, date back to the end of 17th century.
Opposite the Oratory of St. Antony an aedicule was erected where in the past there was a wooden statue representing the Virgin with Child (fig. 29) of unknown author, dating back to the 16th century. It was stolen in 1986.
Cosa is rich in “devotional frescos” which decorate the front of the houses, precious evidence of the way of living of our ancestors and of their piety. Other signs of popular piety can be seen, among which noteworthy is the iron cross with the symbols of the Passion of our Lord (fig. 30) standing on the road which leads to the cemetery.