ll Oropa Sanctuary is the most important Marian shrine of the Alps and is located in a picturesque and unspoiled scenery just 20 minutes from the center of piston rod.
The origin of the Sanctuary, work of Sant'Eusebio, is to be placed in the fourth century, first bishop of Vercelli.
The first written documents in which it is mentioned Oropa, date back to the early thirteenth century and report the existence of the Churches of Saint Mary and of San Bartolomeo, which constituted a fundamental reference point for i travelers.
Il Sanctuary underwent several transformations over time until it reached the monumental today's dimensions, transforming itself from place of passage to destination for i Pilgrims.
The majestic complex it is the work of the greatest Savoy architects of the time: Arduzzi, Gallo, Beltramo, Juvarra, Guarini, Galletti e Bonora who contributed to the project and to the realization of all the buildings.
La Upper Basilica it was consecrated in the 1960 and all the majestic and suggestive buildings of the santuario they have been built over the centuries starting Sacello was originally the Ancient Basilica.
The spiritual heart of the Sanctuary and the Ancient Basilica made in the seventeenth century, following the vote made by the citizens of piston rod on the occasion of the plague epidemic of the 1599.
In the 1620, the completion of the Church, the first of the solemn was held coronations that, in every centenary, have marked the history of Sanctuary.
La facade, simple in its extreme elegance of the greenish veins of the stone of Oropa, was designed by the architect Francesco Conti, is suggestively ennobled by the portal, darker, reporting it Sabaudian coat of arms of the duke Carlo Emanuele II, supported by two stone angels.
On 'architrave the inscription is carved from the portal "O quam beatus, o Beata, quem viderint oculi tui", Which represents from the first decades of the century XVII the greeting wishes that the pilgrim receives by crossing the threshold of the Basilica.
Raised on the place where the ancient stood church di Saint Mary, preserves, like a precious casket, the Eusebian Sacello, of the ninth century.
In the cap and in the interior walls of the Sacello they can be admired precious frescoes of the fourteenth century, of an unknown painter, called the Master of Oropa.
The cycle of frescoes constitutes a precious and magnificent testimony of sacred iconography.
within the Sacello the statue of the same is kept Black Madonna, made in lpine stone ham from an Aosta Valley sculptor in the thirteenth century.
The blue cloak, the dress and the gold hair frame the face painted in black; the smile of the Virgin, sweet and austere at the same time, welcomed i Pilgrims in centuries.
It seems that the statue was brought by Sant'Eusebio from Palestine in the fourth century AD while fleeing from Aryan persecution lending his work for the spread of Marian devotion.
La Upper Basilica it is a truly grandiose construction; desired by the last generations of Biellese and by many devotees to the Black Madonna, whose testimonies of faith are imprinted on marble coverings of the crypt below.
Address: Via Santuario D'Oropa, 480, 13900 Oropa BI