The Madonna di San Luca (Santuario Madonna di San Luca) - sanctuary, a monumental Church dedicated to the virgin Mary, is located on Guard hill (Colle della Guardia) South-West of Bologna's historic centre.
The Church is also known as the Sanctuary of our lady of St. Luke or the Sanctuary of the blessed virgin Saint Luke at the top of the Colle della Guard.
Currently, the Church of San Luca, is a revered Shrine, one of the symbols of Bologna which are among the main attractions of the city and the surrounding and a place of pilgrimage and the veneration of the icon of the Madonna of San Luca.
The Scriptures say that in the XII century, pilgrims came to Bologna from the Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople with the icon of the virgin painted by Luke. According to another version, in 1160, the Bishop of Bologna Gerardo Grassi gave the icon a small chapel, the monastery is situated on top of a hill, which was founded by two sisters, Beatrice and Azzolina Gueci. There is also a version according to which, the skit appeared on the Guard only hill in 1192.
The construction of this Church begun in 1723 on the project of Carlo Francesco Dotti. The construction of the Church lasted for 42 years. The lateral external tribunes were built by the son Carlo Francesco - Giovanni Giacomo, project father. Inaugurated the sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, was held in 1765.
To the main entrance of the Basilica is a wide staircase, and near the entrance you will find a garden with Seating and flowerbeds.
The inside of the sanctuary with massive columns and frescoes makes an impression. The Central place in the Church is the icon of the virgin Mary with the baby. Among believers there is a common perception: watching the Holy icon of the mother of God for a long time, believers feel her mother's gaze. This feeling is especially intensified as it approaches the icon.
In the side galleries of the Church are: Elevator, vending machines with drinks and snacks, chapel and gift shop of a religious nature.
Viewing platform the Church of the Madonna di San Luca
For a fee (5 Euros per person), you can climb winding stairs to a small observation deck, located under the dome.
After the climb, near the lookout, issue binoculars. The binoculars are bad, but to see the surrounding area is still possible. From the lookout panoramic views of the green hills surrounding the Church, and part of the city of Bologna.
Hours of operation observation deck: Monday to Saturday from 09:30 to 12:30 and 14:30 to 19:00 PM; Sunday from 09:30 to 19:00 hours. Attention! Opening hours may vary, check before visiting.
Near the Church Madonna di San Luca in Bolgna
Near the sanctuary there are: bus stop, the tent with drinks and snacks and a restaurant Vito San Luca.
How to get to the Madonna di San Luca in Bologna
- by public bus 58 stops the Villa Spada. The bus also stops at bus stops: Meloncello, San Luca 15, San Luca 35 and the final stop - the temple of San Luca (Basilica di San Luca). Fare 1.5 Euros;
- using excursion train with audio guide, which connects the historic centre of Bologna with the Shrine. Tour price (10 Euros), the route and timetable can be found on the official website of the company;
- walk along the portico (covered gallery). This is probably the most interesting but also the long and tedious way to get to the Church of the Madonna of San Luca.
Getting to Church is about 3.8 kilometers and takes on monumental roofed arcade (Portico di San Luca) consisting of 666 arches, which was built in 1674-1793. This portico is considered one of the longest in the world.
Covered arcade leads from Porta Saragozza gate entrance to San Luca. However, the main procession (lift) starts from the arch of Meloncello (Arco Del Meloncello) as to the arch, you can get out of different sides of Bologna, and from the arch one way - up.
From porta Saragozza gate to the arch Meloncello the portico is plain, then, from the arch of Meloncello starts the collina portico.
Photos of area of the plain of the portico
Photo of the arch Meloncello
Photo kholmove portico
On the way up, creep portico, located 15 chapels. Each chapel has an information plaque with the name and description of the chapel.