/ / The Madonna di San Luca: photo description (Madonna di San Luca)

The Madonna di San Luca: photo description (Madonna di San Luca)

The Madonna di San Luca - the Catholic Church, is located on Guard Hill (Colle della Guardia) close to the historical centre of Bologna. Stored here the image of the virgin, painted by Saint Luke, about a thousand years is the object of pilgrimage for thousands of believers from all over Italy. To get to the temple by the gallery, which starts at the city gates Saragozza, or via a detour.

An ancient legend says that once a Greek hermit who made pilgrimages to Constantinople, received from the local monks icon of the virgin Mary and a mandate to get her to Guard the Hill. The hermit went to Rome in search of the mentioned hill, but there he was told that this mountain is located in the neighborhood of Bologna. So the icon was brought to the capital of Emilia Romagna - it happened in the 12th century. Then, in 1194, the Guard on the Hill was built the first Church.

In 1433, the icon revealed to the people the first miracle during a solemn procession with the image of the virgin Mary suddenly stopped and rain poured Bologna for several days and threatened to cause the city irreparable damage. In the late 15th century sanctuary in which the icon was kept, was completely restored, and in 1874 received the status of national monument.

The current building was completed in 1765 in Baroque style by the architect Carlo Francesco Dotti, and its dome, façade and external side of the rostrum was completed later, in 1774. In 1815 erected a new marble altars, and in the 20th century were decorated dome. Inside the temple you can see the work of Donato Creti, Guido Reni, Giuseppe Mazza, Vittorio Bigari and Guercino.

An integral part of the Shrine is a portico - a roofed gallery paved in 1589. Along it in the 17th century was built 15 chapels. The portico consists of 666 arches and is considered the world's longest - it stretches from Saragozza gate to the temple 3.7 km Number of arches is not accidental that the number 666 is apparently symbolizes the devil, crushed by the foot of the virgin. Every year this road is a procession of the faithful going from the Church of San Petronio to the sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca.