OROPA SANCTUARY

If you are looking for new places to visit in Italy, then this might be the one you will eventually fall in love with. Italy is a country full of spectacular, beautiful places that can very well steal your heart. Some of them are well-known, while some others are not so familiar to people but nonetheless very charmful. If you ever get to Piemonte region, then visiting Biella will be a must, a little Piemonte town, very charming, and from there to Oropa Sanctuary, there will be only 20 minutes by car, and the beauty you will find there will be simply impressive.

About Santuario di Oropa, I would like to tell you about its beauty. Sometimes we don’t need too much time to reload our batteries for everyday life, all you need is to take a day or two to go to a place where you never were before, to take in some fresh air and to allow your soul to feel the happiness that the beauty of the region has to offer, to admire an art masterpiece and to discover something new. This is the reason I like traveling, I always like something new and want to discover it.

Sanctuary Oropa (Oropa Sanctuary) is the perfect place for the reflection moments and internal peace and also for a cultural deepening. The Oropa Sanctuary is considered one of the most important sanctuary in the Alps and also in Europe. Situated in an unique and unaltered landscape, at 1200 m high, at only 20 minutes from Biela, the sanctuary attracts Christians from all over the world, that are keen to visit the most important shrine, raised for the black Madonna.

No matter if it’s winter or summer, at Oropa will be a bit colder than usual because once you climbed up there and after a short look around, you will have the feeling that you are closer to the sky with thousand meters. Everything seems to be out of another dimension, with an overwhelming silence, even though the tourists are always present.

History

It says that the Oropa Sanctuary dates back to the 4th century, when it was founded by St. Eusebiu who brought from the orient, three black statues of the holy Virgin Mary (that are still present at Oropa), discovered by the bishop under the ruins of Jerusalem. The first church in Oropa was built in the 13th century. At the moment, the sanctuary includes a main church and other buildings that form an attractive group of buildings, in a very quiet group, in a valley, partially forested.

The main complex of Oropa Sancuary combines different styles of the 17th and 19th century, between baroque and neo-classic. This building has many artistic treasures from that period, being highly visited.  The statue of the Black Virgin Mary is kept in the church, in a chapel, that precedes the actual church of the 17th century. Other important moments at the Oropa sanctuary include the Royal Gate and the Royal Apartments, while the back part is the second church that was built during the 19th century.  The group around the church contains 19 chapels; amongst 12 of them tend to be built up on the hill, showing moments of the Virgin Mary’s life, using paintings, frescoes, sculptures and other works of devotional art.

Other attractions at Oropa

Around Oropa, there are botanical gardens and an easy access to the paths that lead to the rural surrounding area. You can also take the tele cabin that takes you up to the Mucrone Mountain, where you can find outstanding views and a starting point to other destinations. For instance, from there you can get down and reach the Mucrone Lake, or up on the mountain and get to the Mucrone Mountain summit.

 

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