The Santuario Basilica La Consolata is a church in Turin. The official name of the church is Santa Maria della Consolazione, but it is just as often called Chiesa di Santa Maria Consolatrice, which means as much as the “Church of Mary the Consoler.”
Santuario La Consolata Turin
The address of the shrine is Piazza della Consolata – 10122 Torino (tel. +39 0114836111). Streetcar: 3, 16CS. Bus: 52, 60a, 67. Admission is free. The church is open from 07:00 to 20:00.
History and description
From the Middle Ages, only the bell tower remains, together with, perhaps, the underground Madonna delle Grazie Chapel.
A plaque from 1595 commemorates the legendary event (see below) from 1102, to which the church owes its fame.
The Madonna statue now on display in the church is not the original, but was made by Antoniazzo Romano towards the end of the 15th century.
The neo-classical façade dates from 1860.
The High Altar in the hexagonal chapel was made by Juvarra and is one of the showpieces in the church. At this altar there are two white marble angels by the hand of Carlo Antonio Tantardini along with a painting representing the Virgin Mary.
The sculpture group made by the Swiss artist Vincenzo Vela is titled “Monument to the Two Queens” (1861). The queens are Maria Teresa d’Asburgo-Toscana, widow of Carlo Alberto, and Maria Adelaide d’Asburgo-Lorena, wife of Vittorio Emanuele II.
The very first version of La Consolata dates back to the 5th century, however, when Bishop Maximus had the ruins of a pagan temple converted into a church.
In the 10th century it was still dedicated to Sant’Andrea.
Guarino Guarini enlarged the church in 1678 and Antonio Bertola completed the cupola in 1703. The rectory was added by Filippo Juvarra in 1729.
Carlo Ceppi was in charge of a new reconstruction between 1899 and 1904, which included the construction of four side chapels.
Between 1802 and 1815, the Santuario served for a time as a barracks, after Napoleon had banned religious orders.
On June 20th, 1104, a blind man called Giovanni Ravacchio came to Turin to see the image of the Madonna. He had dreamed that he would regain his sight if he found the place where the Madonna image was buried. The Madonna was then placed inside the church and the church itself was upgraded to a basilica. Every year on June 20th at sunset, the statue is carried in a procession through the city at sunset to commemorate this event.
Alberoni and Crosato painted the frescoes of the cupola between 1742 and 1748. Bortoloni was resposible for the vault of Sant’Andrea (1748-1754). Galliari did the cupola of the prespytery in 1766.