Il Santuario di Montevergine e la Candelora
Santuario di Montevergine, Mercogliano (AV)
Territorio: Avellino e Irpinia
- Tel. +39 0825 73069
- Fax. +39 0825 72924
The Sanctuary, which was a temple dedicated to goddess Cybele, roots in the story of a young pilgrim, Guglielmo da Vercelli, who, struck by the beauty of the mountain, chose it as his residence. The apparition of Jesus encouraged him to build a sanctuary in honour of the Virgin Mary. The first part, erected in 1124, has been transformed, during the centuries, assuming its current features: the new and ancient Basilica, the monastery, the guest rooms, the bell tower and the crypt. The complex contains very important works, such as the 12th century Byzantine baldachin, the 15th century monument dedicated Caterina Filangieri and the hard rocks altar, but also thousands of ex-voto, symbol of deep devotion for the Madonna with dark skin.
Apart from the pilgrimages that take place all-year round, there’s a particular appointment that enlivens the sanctuary: the Candelora, a feast in honour of the Madonna di Montevergine.
An harmonic union between sacred and profane which combines the pagan origins of the place with its high Christian vocation. Every year, on February 2, the climb to the sanctuary explodes with songs, dances and dressing up on the notes of castanets and tammorre. Protagonists of the feasts are the ‘femminielli’ devoted to Mamma Schiavona, who,as the legend goes, in 1200 saved a couple of young homosexuals who had been expelled from the city and tied with chains on the mountain. During the feast it is possible to taste the typical products of the area.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8am-7pm