/ / The sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel: photos, description Santuario del Monte Sant'angelo)

The sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel: photos, description Santuario del Monte Sant'angelo)

The sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel is one of the oldest in Europe of the pilgrimage to Saint Michael Archangel. This natural cave located on the mountain Monte Gargano in the province of Foggia Italian region of Puglia, known since the 5th century. In ancient times Monte Gargano was worshipped by local residents of the Holy mountain, it was two churches - one was dedicated to the hero Praderio, and the second is the prophet of Colchis, Calchas. Well, in the 5th century, here began to come pilgrims traveling from Rome to Jerusalem, and it was connected with the phenomena of the faithful Archangel Michael.

The first phenomenon occurred in 490, the year: one local farmer lost a bull and after a long search, found him standing on his knees in front of the entrance to the cave. He tried to lure the bull, but the stubborn animal refused to budge, and then the farmer shot him with an arrow. As legend has it, an arrow halfway turned and struck the shooter. The story immediately spread through the neighborhood, and after a couple of days in the cave was the Bishop of the city of Siponto, who saw the Archangel Michael, told him that this cave was sacred, and that it is necessary to build a temple.

Three years later, in 493, the year, the city of Siponto came under siege and was on the verge of defeat. The same Bishop for three days fervently prayed for the salvation of the citizens, and again he was visited by the Archangel Michael, who predicted victory over the enemies. Inspired by this prophecy the people of Siponto really defeated the troops of the enemy. Since then, the day 8 of may is a Catholic festival "the appearance of the Archangel Michael".

Finally, the third apparition of the Archangel took place in the same 493-m to year, when the Bishop of Siponto decided to consecrate the temple in the cave on mount Gargano. However, the Archangel Michael told him that he himself had personally consecrated the Church. And really, who went to the cave dwellers, Siponto found there the altar and the cross. It is because this Church according to tradition was consecrated by the angel, it is often called the Celestial Basilica.

Today at the approach to the sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel, visitors see the chapel built by order of Emperor Frederick II and rebuilt in the late 13th century by Charles I of Anjou. It is a 4-storey building height of 27 metres. The entrance to the cave is preceded by a portico of 13-14-th centuries, with pediment and Gothic arches. The Central portal was made in the 20th century, right in 1395, the year, and left in 1865, the year. Inside the cave is a staircase of 86 steps, also made under Charles of Anjou, which ends at the Gate of the Bull of the mid-17th century. Its name they received as a reminder of the first appearance of Michael the Archangel. Behind the gate is a courtyard with the tombs of some famous personalities, and for him starts the cave itself. The cave entrance is closed bronze doors, made by Byzantine craftsmen in the 11th century. They are divided into 24 panels and is decorated with pictures of biblical stories.

Inside the sanctuary consists of a main brick of the nave in the Byzantine gate and the most ancient part, is not affected by the alterations. In the nave, built in the late 13th century, you can see the Baroque altar of the Holy mysteries, the tabernacle with statues of the saints Joseph, Nicholas and Anthony of Padua, the chapel of the cross, which was once the sacristy in which is kept a silver cross with a particle of the true cross. Nearby are the choirs of the mid-17th century. In the depths of the cave, in the part that remained intact is the altar, according to the legend, erected by Michael the Archangel, and carved the throne of Archbishop Leo. Here you can see the altar of the virgin without ceasing assistant with a wooden canopy.

In 2011, the year the Sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel on Monte Gargano was added to the UNESCO world Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO.