Santa Maria Madre della Consolazione all'Eremo is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Reggio Calabria. It is a sanctuary that stands on the city’s highest mountain in a place that is dear to the population of Reggio. The basilica is historically a place of pilgrimage, as well as the starting point for the annual procession that provides for the accompaniment of Effigie di Maria Ss. Madre della Consolazione to the cathedral for the great feast of Madonna della Consolazione.
The Santuario dell’Eremo, protector of the city
The Santuario dell’Eremo is one of the most important temples of Christianity in Calabria. Its history traces back to the determination of Archbishop Centelles who transformed the place at first only into a votive temple, and then into a real place of prayer, based on the Franciscan religious philosophy. In the mid-1500s construction on the adjoining cloister and convent began, which ended in 1569. What we admire today, however, is the reconstruction of the historic basilica based on its redesign in 1965 by the architect Anna Sbaraccani Anastasi, after the irreparable damage of the 1908 earthquake.
DID YOU KNOW THAT …?
Did you know that inside the Basilica dell’Eremo the Grande Vara della Madre Consolazione can be found? La grande vara della Madre Consolazione is a work of art from the mid-16th century, attributed to the Calabrian painted Niccolò Andrea Caprioli. The Vara weights over 12 tonnes, is 5 metres high, and during the feast of the Madonna della Consolazione is carried during the procession by the “carriers of Vara”, from the Basilica dell’Eremo to the Duomo, spanning over 3.5 km and tolerating a difference in altitude of over 150 m.
A national monument
When considering the wealth of history, culture, and sanctity of the region, the Basilica dell’Eremo is undoubtedly to be counted among those that offers a panorama of the most beautiful and privileged. In addition to the beauty of the Basilica itself, you can enjoy an expansive view of the city, the sea, and Sicily. The hills of Eremo that overlook Reggio Calabria remain one of the most exclusive and panoramic sites of the entire Aspromonte ridge. On these hills stands the marvellous Basilica, full of Romanesque and Gothic elements, built in accordance with the influence of the eclectic and cultural movement, which gave it its originality, solemnity, and harmony.
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