Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bologna - Italy

For the last update of the day, i chose this italian card from Bologna, sent by Marita "MaHaKo", who visited the city almost a year ago.

The card shows the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca.

Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy.
The Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca is a basilica church in Bologna, northern Italy, sited atop Colle or Monte della Guardia, in a forested hill some 300 metres above the plain, just south-west of the historical centre of the city.

While a road now leads up to the sanctuary, it is also possible to reach it by traversing a long (3.5 km) monumental roofed arcade (Portico di San Luca) consisting of 666 arches, which was built in 1674-1793. It was meant to protect the icon as it was paraded up the hill. A yearly procession proceed from the church of San Pietro in the centre of Bologna to the Sanctuary along this path. Originally the arches held icons or chapels erected by the patron family.

The icon of the Virgin Mary, allegedly painted by Luke the Evangelist.The Sanctuary was meant to house a miraculous icon of the virgin. A church or chapel existed atop the hill for about a thousand years. The present church was constructed in 1723 using designs of Carlo Francesco Dotti. The lateral external tribunes were built by Carlo Francesco's son Giovanni Giacomo using his father's plans. - in: wikipedia

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