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One of the biggest elliptic domes ever built in the entire world silhouettes against the sky, a few kilometres from Mondovì, on the road that goes to Savona. It is the symbol of the Santuario di Vicoforte (Vicoforte Sanctuary), and it was designed in the early seventeen hundreds by the architect Francesco Gallo. The architectural complex shows different styles: a Renaissance lower part, a baroque drum and dome and bell towers in various architectural styles. The Sanctuary has only one nave. Inside the central nave stands a small marble temple that holds the historic pillar with the image of the Madonna, which was the reason behind the Sacred complex being built. The chronicles, in fact, tell that in 1592 a hunter inadvertently hit the image of the Madonna with the harquebus. This upset him so much that, after putting the weapon next to the sacred image, he decided to repair the pillar. The harquebus is still kept in the Sanctuary. This event had a large following among the people, and it shortly turned into the building of an actual Sanctuary. The intervention of Carlo Emanuele I di Savoia (Charles Emmanuel I of Savoy) was crucial: he had been fascinated by the story and gave the architect Ascanio Vitozzi the task of creating a grand work. It had to celebrate both the devotion of the people and the greatness of Casa Savoia (Savoy Family). On the 7th July 1596, the building of the Sanctuary begins. It will be finished only in the early seventeen hundreds, when the architect Francesco Gallo designed an elliptic enormous dome: it was 74 metres high and 36 metres in diameter. It was finished in the XIX century when the three façades and the bell towers were completed, together with the building of a Cistercian monastery and palace, placed opposite the basilica. The temple is richly decorated and creates a wonderful visual effect: in the spacious interior of the building, in fact, light filters through the large oval windows, exerting a strong fascination on visitors.

Piazza Carlo Emanuele I 1
12080 Vicoforte CN
+39 0174 56555

Opening times

Giorni feriali: 7 - 12 e 14,30 - 19
Giorni festivi: 7 - 12,30 e 14,30 - 19,30

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