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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sacred Mountains


Sacro Monte di Varese, Varese
Oratory



Map of the Mountain of Varese


Sacro Monte di Belmonte, Valperga
View of


Sacro Monte di Belmonte, Valperga
Capella



Sacro Monte di Oropa, Biella
Capella



Sacro Monte di Crea, Serralunga di Crea
Capella Paradiso



Sacred Mountains

The idea of "Sacred Mountains" appears to have originated in Piedmont and Lombardy. It started at the end of the Fourteenth century but "took off" after the Council of Trent.

The mountains were settings for devotional processions in a natural setting. The mountains had structures such as churches, sanctuaries, oratories, and chapels with sculptures, paintings and others relevant to the idea of the procession or object of devotion.

They were in the tradition of pilgrimage and testifying to faith.

At the beginning they were supposed to be an alternative to the pilgrimage to the Holy Lands which was extremely dangerous, expensive and long.

Then they developed as an occasion for the strengthening of faith and an occasion of prayer.

Common themes were the Life and passion of Christ, the Blessed Virgin, Saints (especially Sain Francis of Assisi), the Trinity and the Rosary.

The idea sprea across Europe. In 2001, it was estimated that there were about 1800.

In 2003, UNESCO categorised 9 such "Sacred Mountain" sites in North Italy as "World Heritage Sites". They are:

Sacro Monte di Varallo, Varallo Sesia
Sacro Monte di Orta, Orta San Giulio
Sacro Monte di Crea, Serralunga di Crea
Sacro Monte di Oropa, Biella
Sacro Monte di Belmonte, Valperga
Sacro Monte di Ghiffa, Ghiffa
Sacro Monte di Domodossola, Domodossola
Sacro Monte di Varese, Varese
Sacro Monte di Ossuccio, Ossuccio

Useful Links:

http://www.comunicare.it/sacromonte

http://www.comunicare.it/luoghi/luoghi/ossuccio.htm

http://www.santuariodioropa.it

http://www.santuari.it/crea/creasomm.htm

http://www.sacrimonti.net/User/

http://www.sacromontedomodossola.it/

http://www.bagneri.it/pag/A42_Graglia.html

http://www.piemontesacro.it/