Sanctuary of Oropa


Marian shrine

The Oropa Sanctuary is located about ten kilometers from the town of Biella and lies at 1200 meters altitude in a beautiful valley of mountains that are part of the Biella Alps.

Oropa Sanctuary is a Marian shrine

The development of the Sanctuary of Oropa underwent various transformations over time, up to the monumental size of today's transforming from a place of passage to the destination for pilgrims enlivened by a strong spirit of devotion.

Property development and architecture of the Shrine of Oropa was great. Today, consists of three yards, and terraced focuses on the major places of worship of the old basilica in which we honor the Black Madonna and the New Basilica. Within the building monumental buildings of the sanctuary side that also function as hospitality, are large and symmetrical with the other structures and form a true Marian city.

The main front of the sanctuary of Oropa is impressive with the great and grand staircase of the great architect Juvarra Savoy, which leads to the Porta Regia all carved in stone, built to the generosity of Cardinal Prince Maurice of Savoy.

The lobby of the staircase is covered with plaques celebrating the visits made by famous people like Guglielmo Marconi in 1894, who conceived precisely to Oropa the invention of wireless telegraphy. Guglielmo Marconi wrote:
"In the summer of 1894 the high mountains of Biella Oropa contemplating the thought that man could find new energy in space new resources and new media".

To the left lie the rooms that make up the royal pavilion, built to serve as accommodation for members of the House of Savoy, who often liked to spend time at the Sanctuary of Oropa. The links between the Sanctuary of Oropa and the Royal House of Savoy are very old. On the walls of the Royal there are the portraits of all the kings of Sardinia and Italy until the last king Umberto II.

The large courtyard where is the Old Church was designed by Negro, the center is the beautiful fountain "Burnell".

Sanctuary Basilica of Oropa Ancient.

Spiritual heart of the sanctuary, this basilica keeps inside the shrine Eusebian decorated with precious and beautiful frescoes of the fourteenth century. Inside the Chapel is kept the statue of the Black Madonna. The history and the richness of this basilica we treated separately.

Oropa Sanctuary Basilica Superior.

The construction of the New Church in Oropa, began in 1885 to designs by Galletti presented in 1774. The church was studied for more than a century by many famous architects. The interior of the New Church is formed by two areas: one topped by an octagonal dome over eighty feet, supported by columns that flank the six side chapels, a round containing the altar, topped with cupola. Can contain up to three thousand faithful.
Of particular interest are the three doors of the Basilica opened in September 1965. Valuable works of bronze sculpture depicting the major events in the history of the Shrine of Oropa origins to the twentieth century.

Exists within the Sanctuary of Oropa:

  • The "Museum of Treasures, opened in 2003 collects gold, jewels, vestments and other items of historical value, among them the cup of gilded silver with diamonds and rubies offered by Queen Maria Christina of Bourbon in 1836. Or the great silver-gilt monstrance encrusted with precious stones from about 800 deals in 1700 by Maria Giovanna Battista of Savoy-Nemour, mother of Vittorio Amedeo II. Precious relic is a planet that was wrapped in the cloak of Blessed Amadeus IX.
  • The galleries which outlined votive tablets with commemorative paintings that were delivered to the shrine by the faithful as a sign of gratitude for favors received. He can count about a thousand. In antiquity, these works were hung inside the shrine and the walls of the basilica that he was totally plastered.
  • The library and historical, rich volumes of seventeenth and eighteenth centuries including the Polyglot Bible, more than 5000 volumes of scientific and humanistic nature, and many others.
  • More than three hundred comfortable rooms for the hospitality elegantly furnished.
  • A weather-seismic observatory founded in 1874 by his father Francesco Denza Barnabite of Naples. The observatory is part of network of Oropa forecast of Piedmont and the National Seismic Network.

Near the shrine of Oropa there is:

  • The Sacred Mountain is composed of nineteen chapels dedicated to the life of the Virgin and populated with statues carved from 1620.
  • The Botanical Garden, Oasis WWF to protect and promote the knowledge of the alpine flora and organizes exhibitions and educational activities.
  • The Cemetery is surrounded by a semicircular portico, in the center of which stands a small church with a big group of the Deposition dell'Antonino. In this chapel lie: Losana Archbishop Peter and Bishop Seraphim Christmas Bishops of Biella, Archbishop Charles Montagnini, the prelate who represented the St. Headquarters in Paris. It is adorned with statues and bas-reliefs, works by modern artists. Among the mausoleums is evident that the pyramidal shape of the statesman Quintino Sella.
  • A cable car leaves from the Sanctuary of Oropa and arrives at 1,900 Mt of refuge Savoy. From this shelter can be reached by a short walk to the lake Mucrone, or through a cable car, go up to Mount Camino, altitude 2400 Mt.

How to reach the Sanctuary of Oropa.

  • The Sanctuary of Oropa is about 10Km from Biella and must follow the state 143.
  • You can come to this shrine in using the bus line 2, which starts from the railway station.
  • Biella is connected to the motorway A4 Turin - Milan to the box Santhia and Carisio.
  • The railway line from Biella is connected to the station and that Santhià of Novara.


Might interest