Religious building

Santuario della Madonna di San Luca

Via di San Luca, 24, Bologna

Place on the Colle della Guardia, to the southwest of the historic center of Bologna, it is an important shrine, a pilgrimage to venerate the icon of the Virgin and Child, known as the "St. Luke". The Shrine is reachable from Saragoza Gate through a long and characteristic porticoed street, the Portico of San Luca (with 666 arches, 15 chapels and 3,796 kilometers, is supposedly the longest porch in the world). Its history is linked to the icon that is kept inside, which gave rise to the legend of the founding of the Shrine itself. After some years of decline, the Sanctuary knew luck again thanks to the "miracle of the rain", in 1433. Between 1603 and 1623 it was enlarged and decorated the chapel and between 1609 and 1616 the bell tower was rebuilt. The current building is the result of a new project, decided in 1723 and dictated by the contrast between the new chapel and the rest of the building. The dominant style is Baroque: the body of the building consists, for the most part, by the great elliptical dome cladding, surmounted at the center by a large dome with lantern. The facade consists of a stem connected to the sides through the arcade, which is developed with two curved wings that enclose the square in front and which end with pentagonal two stands at newsstands. The main entrance is flanked by statues of St. Luke and St. Mark, works by Bernardino Cametti of 1716. The old Dominican monastery and the bell tower are built into the south side of the building. The interior is characterized by an elliptical plant, on which engages a Greek cross with a raised presbytery, on top of which is placed the icon of the Virgin and Child. The main arches are supported by piers consist of three Corinthian columns. The frescoes are by Vittorio Bigari and Giuseppe Cassioli; stucco are the work by Antonio Borrello and Giovanni Calegari.

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