Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca, Bologna

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  • Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca, Bologna
    Santuario della Beata Vergine di San...
    by von.otter
  • Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca, Bologna
    Santuario della Beata Vergine di San...
    by von.otter
  • Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca, Bologna
    Santuario della Beata Vergine di San...
    by von.otter
  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca, View II

    by von.otter Updated Nov 4, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The View from Church of St. Luke, Bologna, 05/2010
    4 more images

    “Upon another hill, stands the celebrated church of the Madonna di St. Luca, three miles from Bologna. A portico consisting of seven hundred arcades reaches from it to the gate of the city. The church itself is magnificent, and its interior splendidly decorated; but its brightest ornament is the portrait of the Madonna, painted by St. Luke.”
    — from “Rambles in Italy: in the Years 1816 and 1817” by James Sloan and Theodore Lyman

    The views from the various points around the grounds of St. Luke’s are breathtaking.

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    Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca, View I

    by von.otter Updated Nov 4, 2010
    View from the Church of St. Luke, Bologna, 05/2010
    4 more images

    “We were present at the great annual procession of the “Madonna di St. Luca.” This is a lady almost as distinguished as her namesake at Loreto, being one of the black images painted (as the story is) by St. Luke, and brought to the Church of St. Luke from Constantinople by a hermit in 1160, whence every year she pays a visit of a few days to the cathedral. St. Luke’s stands on a very high hill, from whence the view is almost unbounded, from the Adriatic to the Apennines, embracing the rich plains of Lombardy.”
    — from “Memoir of James Ewing of Strathlever” 1866 by Macintosh Mackay

    WHAT WE SAW From the terraces and balconies at Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca we saw the beautiful hills that stretched out before us as a green carpet. We saw down into Bologna’s historic center. We did not see the Adriatic, nor the plains of Lombardy.

    The views from the sanctuary are dramatic and it is a cool, calm escape from the city.

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    Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca, Part II

    by von.otter Updated Nov 4, 2010
    Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca, Bologna
    4 more images

    Lungo l'autostrada da lontano ti vedró, ecco lá le luci di San Luca
    (Along the motorway from afar I’ll see you, there they are the lights of San Luca)
    — from “Dark Bologna” by the Bolognese singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla

    OBJECT OF OUR CLIMB After a thrilling hour-long walk up the hill under the porticoes, we reached Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca, tired but invigorated.

    Along with other visitors, we were allowed behind the altar to see St. Luke’s painted icon up close (see photos #1 and #2). In 1433 Bologna experienced a very rainy spring that threatened to ruin crops and bring famine to the city. Graziolo Accarisi, a well-respected lawyer and a member of the city council, suggested that the icon of St. Luke’s Madonna and Child be brought down to the city where Bologna’s faithful could pray to the Virgin to stop the rain. It worked! Every year since a procession has been held in early May, bringing the icon from its sanctuary; it is paraded throughout the city and rests in the Cathedral of St. Peter for a week.

    The dome (see photo #3) is decorated with frescoes by the late-Baroque Bolognese artist Vittorio Bigari (1692–1776), whose work can also be seen at the Basilica of San Domenico in Bologna.

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  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca, Part I

    by von.otter Updated Nov 4, 2010
    Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca, Bologna
    4 more images

    “Up to this church, from the gate of Bologna, is a portico or covered way, about three miles long, very elegant in workmanship, twelve feet broad and fifteen high. It took about sixty years to complete, and the cost was immense; but the whole was raised by voluntary contribution. Up this tremendously steep portico we ascended (not much with my will) in the warmest day I have experienced, as the carriage could not be used, and was left at the foot.”
    — from “Memoir of James Ewing of Strathlever” 1866 by Macintosh Mackay

    UP, UP AND AWAY The church that Mr. Ewing is hiking towards is the Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca. It sits on Colle della Guardia southwest of town.

    The Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca was built in the Greek-cross plan between 1723 and 1757 by Bologna’s native son, Carlo Francesco Dotti (1670-1759). Inside you can see a Byzantine icon, traditionally attributed to the evangelist St. Luke. Flanking the entrance door are two marble sculptures; on the left is St. Luke holding a version of his painting (see photo #3); on the right is St. Mark (see photo #4), notable because of the winged lion at his feet. The original church was restored and extended many times over the years.

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    Santuario della Madonna di S. Luca

    by Mundus Written Sep 22, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Santuario della Madonna di S. Luca

    XIV - XVII centrury Sanctuary, designed by architect F. Dotti.

    There is a pathway all the way up the hill. The pathway was 666 arches to protect the perigrims from bad weather.

    There is a pilgrimage at the beginning and at the end of May.

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