The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grata is a small church that stands in a prominent position outside the historical center of Ostuni, surrounded by gardens, in a rural area known as Contrada Rosara.
The first documented information about a church in this place dates back to the beginning of the 18th century.
The current church was built between 1896 and 1910 by the architect Gaetano Jurleo, who was also responsible for the facade of the Church of San Francesco d’Assisi. The sanctuary was solemnly consecrated by the Archbishop Tommaso Valeri on August 18, 1912. The old church was then demolished.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grata was built on a natural cistern destined since ancient times to store water necessary for the irrigation of the nearby gardens. To date, this cistern is full of water, causing considerable damage to the church above.
The symmetrical facade of the church is made up of two main parts: the base, characterized by the entrance portal and a plinth on which four Corinthian pilasters and four niches are set, and the upper part, characterized by a central semicircular window surmounted by the emblem with the letters M.G., supported by two little angels.
The two parts are separated by an extremely refined cornice that develops along the entire perimeter of the sanctuary, on which appears the inscription in Latin AFFLICTORUM CONSOLATRICI DICATUM (dedicated to comforting the afflicted).
Access to the church is made via a staircase, through a bronze door made in 1937 by the artist Sergio Marini, and further through a small atrium bordered by a wooden structure.
The central plan presents an almost square shape with a side of about 14 meters. To it is connected the presbytery that ends with the semi-circular apsidal area. In the presbytery, we can find the central altar.
On the sides of the central altar, there are two niches containing two statues, both dedicated to the Madonna della Grata, one of which is carried every year in procession by the faithful.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grata is located about 300 meters away from the southern limit of the old city center of Ostuni. To find it on foot, use the map below.