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Graglia (Biella)- Sanctuary of Graglia

Foto Sanctuary of Graglia -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Sanctuary of Graglia -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Sanctuary of Graglia -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Sanctuary of Graglia -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Sanctuary of Graglia -  of historical value  of artistic value
Show to visit in the Biella area:
Places  of historical value  of artistic value in the Biella area: Sanctuary of GragliaThe Sanctuary of Graglia (812 meters) is dedicated to the Black Madonna and linked to the cult of Our Lady of Loreto in the Marche region. It comes from a project of the early seventeenth century called Novella Jerusalem and conceived by Don Nicolao Velotti, from Vercelli, who became pastor of Graglia in 1615. The project involved the construction of a Sacred Mountain which had to include 100 chapels between the village of Graglia (m 600) and the Mountain San Carlo (1020 m), chapels which should have been populated by terracotta statues and dedicated to a wide range of biblical themes, from Genesis to various stages of the life of Christ.
Obviously the pharaonic project was never completed. The work continued for about a decade following the original design, then it more and more deviated from it. First of all an (in the original plan unforseen) oratory was built on the outskirts of Graglia, which then raised itself to a small independent sanctuary, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Campra.
The idea of ??building a Sanctuary was resumed after a period of stagnation, in 1655. On the Hill of The Divine Goodness there was already a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Loreto, one of the chapels of the original project that had been realized for real and that contained among other things a wooden statue of the Madonna of Loreto, which attracted a strong popular devotion. It was therefore planned to build a large church with shelter for pilgrims which actually incorporated this chapel, as well as some chapels in the immediate vicinity. Main promoter of the ambitious project was the Duke Carlo Emanuele II, who commissioned Captain Piero Arduzzi, military and civil engineer, to draw up the plan of the building. The blessing of the first cornerstone took place on 20 September 1659. Due to the disastrous wars of that time the construction of the church suffered long stops. In 1765 it was decided to request an advisory opinion for the continuation of the work to the famous architect Bernardo Vittone, who gave a new impetus to the completion of the structure.
The church assumed so in a few years the current appearance: a Greek cross 42 X 32 meters large, culminating in an octagonal dome 38 meters high from the ground. In subsequent years, the complex underwent numerous works of extension and restoration.
What perhaps most characterizes the basilica is the sharp contrast between the naked bricks exterior (Photos 1, one could even doubt that it was ever completed!) and the interior (large photo) in a beautiful late baroque style dominated by pastel tones of blue and ocher. The decorations, though present, are sober and concentrated on the focal points of the structure.
The most richly decorated part is represented by the main altar (Photo 2), conceived by Perratone from Graglia and carved in marble by the master Catella from Lugano, with a triumph of stuccos, statues and surfaces decorated like colorful marble (in addition to the true marble parts). The chosen color tones are rather unusual, in particular the very special gray blue tone. The painting above the altar depicts the Holy House carried by the angels, surmounted by the Madonna and Child; below Saint Carlo Borromeo and the Blessed Amedeo of Savoy.
The paintings of the side altars, also valuable, are works of the painter from Bergamo Piccinardi.
The majestic organ, situated above the entrance, is a work by Felice Bossi of the year 1839.
Finally, very nice the carved wooden crucifix from the first half of 1700 by Pluda.
The church is topped by a large octagonal dome 38 meters high and decorated in 1870 by Fabrizio Galliari, who also painted a fake lantern (Photo 3).
To the left of the presbytery there is the Chapel of Our Lady of Loreto, with the ceiling completely frescoed the Baroque style (Photo 4).
A recent restoration has brought back to its splendor the "Chapel of the exercises" on the first floor, above the sacristy, itself very beautiful. Built around 1740 it was decorated, at different times, with a false perspective, by the painter Giovanni Battista Greggio from Miagliano and painter Giò Antonio Genta from Biella.
To visit also the other four chapels of the Sacred Mount incorporated by the sanctuary, also recently restored. Built between 1664 and 1684, they are dedicated to the Birth of Christ and the Adoration of the Magi, with polychrome terracotta statues by Francesco Pozzi, and to the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and to the Circumcision, with statues of Carlo Pagano and paintings of Prospero Antonio Placco, author of the paintings that adorn the walls. Outside the Basilica, in the Court of the Madonna, the two artistic sundials and the splendid stone "burnell" (fountain).
Not to forget a visit to the Library, which recently underwent a complete work of reorganization, which brought to light a great value: 1,500 texts, mostly dating back to the '600 and' 700.

The Graglia Sanctuary offers restaurant, bar and beautiful rooms where to spend the night.

Further pictures of the Sanctuary of Graglia in the photography section of this web site

Categories: Places of historical value of artistic value


Santuario di Graglia
Heiligtum von Graglia: Weitere Bilder in der Abteilung Photographie
Graglia (Biella, Italy): Sacristiy of the church of the Sanctuary of Graglia
Graglia (Biella, Italy): Chapel of the Exercises of the Sanctuary of Graglia
Graglia (Biella, Italy): Ceiling of the chapel of the Exercises of the Sanctuary of Graglia
Graglia (Biella, Italy): Detail of the main altar of the church of the Sanctuary of Graglia
Graglia (Biella, Italy): Main altar of the church of the Sanctuary of Graglia
Graglia (Biella, Italy): Interior of the dome of the church of the Sanctuary of Graglia