June 11, 2015

1651 ITALY (Piedmont / Lombardy) - Varese - part of Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy (UNESCO WHS)

The nine Sacri Monti (Sacred Mountains) of northern Italy are groups of chapels and other architectural features created in the late 16th and 17th centuries and dedicated to different aspects of the Christian faith. In addition to their symbolic spiritual meaning, they are of great beauty by virtue of the skill with which they have been integrated into the surrounding natural landscape. They also house much important artistic material in the form of wall paintings and statuary. This phenomenon began at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries with the aim of creating in Europe places of prayer as alternative to the Holy Places in Jerusalem and Palestine, access to which was becoming more difficult for pilgrims owing to the rapid expansion of Muslim culture.

The Sacro Monte di Varese is a devotional complex located in Parco del Campo dei Fiori, 6km north of  Varese (a city at 55km north of Milan). The devotional path extends along the slopes of Monte Velate, in a splendid, panoramic position that looks down on a beautiful setting of pre-alpine lakes and the plain. The Via Sacra (Sacred Way) was built starting in 1604, on the initiative of the Capuchin Friar Giovanni Battista Aguggiari, who planned the construction of 14 chapels dedicated to the Mysteries of the Rosary. The project was soon realised, and the work continued until the 18th century. All the constructions (the chapels, the three fountains and the three arches that introduce the Mysteries) were designed by a single architect: Giuseppe Bernascone known as "Il Mancino".

About the stamp

Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy - UNESCO official website
Sacri Monti - Oficial website
Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy - Wikipedia

Sent from Milano (Lombardy / Italy), on 11.03.2015

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