Madonna della Corona


Useful Information

Location: Near Spiazzi. A4 Milan-Venice, exit Peschiera del Garda, towards Spiazzi. A22 Brennero-Modena, exit at Affi, towards Spiazzi. (45.6495, 10.8566)
Open: NOV to MAR daily 8-18.
APR to OCT daily 7-19:30.
[2020]
Fee: free, donations welcome.
[2020]
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: A=774 m asl.
Guided tours:
Photography:
Accessibility:
Bibliography:
Address: Santuario Madonna della Corona, Rector Don Pietro Maroldi, Località Santuario, 1, Spiazzi di Ferrara di Monte Baldo 37020, Verona, Tel: +39-045-7220014, Fax: +39-045-7220014. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1000 hermits linked to the Abbey of St Zeno in Verona lived in the Baldo area.
13th cty monastery with a chapel dedicated to St Mary of Montebaldo.
1434 or 1437 St Mary of Montebaldo passed under the ownership of the Knights of St John, or of the Holy Sepulchre.
1458 wooden access bridge in the valley built.
1490-1521 new church measuring 18 m by 7 m erected over the old chapel.
1522 sculpture of Our Lady of the Corona miraculously transported through angelic intervention.
1625 new and more spacious church started to built.
1685 new church completed.
19th cty church enlarged and given a new Gothic style facade.
17-SEP-1899 church inaugurated.
1975-1978 church demolished and construction of a larger structure while preserving its most important and significant parts.

Description

The Basilica Santuario Madonna della Corona has - despite the name - nothing to do with the Corona virus. It is actually named from the same word, corona meaning crown in Italian. It is located above the Adige (Etsch) river, below the edge of an escarpment. It offers a great view into the Adidge valley, and while there is a steep footpath from Brentino below, it is normally accessed from the town Spiazzi which is located on the plateau above. The obvious reason: the church is 600 m higher than Brentino.

The place was used by hermits since 1000, but in the 13th century a monastery with a chapel dedicated to St Mary of Montebaldo was erected at this location. According to legend, the sculpture of Our Lady of the Corona was miraculously transported through angelic intervention from the island of Rhodos to this chapel. At this time the island was invaded by the Muslim army of Suliman II, and the Saint was obviously looking for a new home. According to the legend this was in 1522.

The famous sculpure of Our Lady of the Corona is 70 cm high, 56 cm wide and 25 cm in depth, and is made from local stone and painted. The pedestal has the inscription "HOC OPUS FECIT FIERI LODOVICUS D CASTROBARCO D 1432”. This actually means, the statue was made and given to the Corona in 1432 by Lodovico Castelbarco, of a noble family of Rovereto.

There is actually no cave, despite the fact that this is a cave church. The church uses the overhanging cliff face, which is so huge that the church is almost completely under the cover of the cliff. Nevertheless it is a normal church with a roof, only the left wall is formed by the rock. The ledge below the cliff offers enough room for the church and various other buildings, for example the bar “Al Santuario”. The cafe and snack bar is quite popular with the pilgrims which walked up the steep path.