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  • Madonna della Corona

    By Anthony Parente

    Main Entrance - Madonna della Corona
    Carved within the rocky cliff of Monte Baldo in Spiazzi suspended between heaven and earth is the beautiful Santuario Madonna della Corona (Sanctuary of the Lady of the Crown). The Sanctuary sits on a thin rock shelf that can only be reached by a path along the mountain. As legend tells us (you can read about this amazing story here) a Shrine was built in 1522 to honor the Madonna.

    Over the centuries the Shrine underwent a number of changes one of which consisted of a larger church being built over the existing one. What is impressive is that all of the material needed to build this Sanctuary had to come from above and lowered down. You can imagine the blood and sweat that it took for these dedicated and devoted people put forth to build such a beautiful place for people to come to not only pay homage to the Madonna, but to experience the beautiful scenery and peaceful atmosphere that surrounds Monte Baldo.

    Pieta - Madonna della Corona
    There are numerous sculptures and bronze casts located within the Shrine and along the access road. Sculptor Ugo Zannoni from Verona predominantly used white Carrara marble to construct statues of St John the Evangelist, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Joseph, St. Toscana and St. John the Baptist. He also made 14 panels of the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross) and panels of the seven sorrows of Our Lady. Veronese architect Raffaele Bonente created bronze statues of the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross) that can be seen along the access road. His main work can be seen on the wall behind the altar, which consists of a statue of the Pietà surrounded by a crown of thorns and five angelic groups (see photo to the right). Not only is the Sanctuary itself worth the visit but the works of both artists are equally as beautiful.

    Due to its location and the fact that it was pretty much inaccessible the Sanctuary was never destroyed or desecrated by invaders and remained intact well into the 20th century. In 1974 Italian architect Guido Tisato was tasked with the project of making improvements to the structure while preserving the important and significant parts of the sanctuary. Over the course of four years a new Shrine and altar was built and in 1982 the Shrine was given the title of Basilica Minor.

    The Sanctuary has become more accessible even though you still have to climb steps to get to it. What once was a place that only monks visited to pray in peace and quiet reflection has become a journey that anyone who wants to witness the beauty of one of the world's highest lying pilgrimage sites can do so.

    Hours, Masses and Celebrations:
    The shrine is open all year during the following times:
    From November to March: from 8 am to 6 pm
    From April to October: from 7 am to 7.30 pm

    If you plan to visit the Sanctuary and want to attend mass you can find a complete schedule here.

    The most important feast days at the Basilica are: The Procession of the Assunta on 8/14, The Solemnity of Our Lady of Sorrows (the third Sunday in September), The Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (2/2), Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter). In the parishes of Spiazzi and Ferrara di Monte Baldo there are no particular feasts dedicated to the Madonna unless they are provided by the liturgical calendar.

    Related Articles:
    Legend of La Madonna della Corona
    Madonna della Corona Photo Gallery

    Photo copyright © Santuario Basilica Madonna della Corona.
    Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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