The sanctuary is actually composed of two churches: the first, in Gothic style, from the 15th century, and the second, in Baroque style, from the second half of the 17th century.
According to tradition, the construction of the first church is connected to two apparitions of the Madonna, which a woman from Sovizzo named Vincenza Pasini witnessed in 1426 and 1428. In these apparitions, the Madonna asked for the construction of a church dedicated to her.
At first, the Municipality of Vicenza built in only three months a modest rectangular room. The administration of the church was initially entrusted to the Order of Santa Brigida, but in 1435 the friars were removed, and were replaced by the Servants of Mary.
Towards the middle of the 15th century, the Servites completed the convent, with the erection of the cloister, the guesthouse, the infirmary and the bell-tower.
Near the end of the century, the church was enlarged towards the east, the old choir was replaced, the sacristy and the main chapel were built, and the vault was frescoed by Bartolomeo Montagna.
Between July 1688 and December 1703, the church was again expanded. Until the end of the 18th century, other works were completed: the sculptural decorations, the arrangement of the altars and the steps in front.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The facade of the church is decorated with sculptures of saints and allegories of virtue, works of Orazio Marinali, Francesco Cabianca and Giacomo Cassetti. Above the main portal, is represented the Virgin appearing to Vincenza Pasini.
The small Gothic cloister of the church, built in 1429, has beautiful pointed arches decorated with terracotta frames on stone columns.
In the ancient refectory of the friars, we can find the Supper of Saint Gregory by Paolo Veronese, with a reliquary containing a resurgent Christ in front, and two canvases by Alessandro Maganza – the Virgin with the four Evangelists and the Baptism of Christ.
Inside the church, in front of the main altar, there is a large canvas by the Venetian painter Giulio Carpioni, Allegory of the people of Vicenza present the church of Monte Berico to the Virgin.
The museum of the church houses paintings, sacred objects and liturgical vestments.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Sanctuary of the Madonna of Monte Berico is located about 1.4 kilometers away from the Vicenza railway station. The closest bus stop, Viale Dieci Giugno, is located near the church, on the bus Lines 18 and 1006.
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