Basilica Santuario Santa Maria della Quercia, Viterbo

#7 of 27 in Historic Sites in Viterbo
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Basilica of Santa Maria della Quercia is an Renaissance-style, Roman Catholic sanctuary church, about two kilometer outside of the center of Viterbo, on the road to Bagnaia, in the Region of Lazio, Italy.HistoryIn 1417, a local artist painted an icon of the Virgin following the design of a local painter Maestro Martello. The image was placed on an oak tree in the countryside, and became a source of veneration, which only increased in 1467 during a scourge of the plague. Miracles were attributed to the icon, and the image was esconced in a chapel.An altar was erected in (1467) and a chapel commissioned by Pope Paul II. The chapel was initially affiliated with the Gesuati order, a Tuscan order which specialized in the aid to pilgrims. The Franciscans within a few years substituted the Gesuati and commissioned this larger church. The church was constructed between 1470 and 1525. In 1577, the church was consecrated by the Cardinal Francesco de Gambara, who is buried in the church. The event was celebrated with a cycle of frescoes at the Palazzo dei Priori, Viterbo. The sanctuary acquired many patrons, including popes. In 1867, Pius IX made the church a minor basilica.The facade is built with rustic stone. The three portal lunettes have terracotta decorations depicting the Madonna, Saints and Angels (1504-1508), completed by Andrea della Robbia. The bell tower has three orders of columns. The interior has a central nave and two aisles with a ceiling designed by Antonio da Sangallo the younger, depicting the symbols of the Madonna, Pope Paul III, and the Lion symbol of Viterbo.
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Basilica Santuario Santa Maria della Quercia reviews

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115 reviews
  • Just enter the Basilica and feel the atmosphere. The ceiling was made by pour gold.You will enjoy art,story.  more »
  • I wasn't too sure what to expect from this church as it looks quiet desolate, but you will be presently surprised once you enter inside it.  more »
  • Fine sanctuary, wide spaces, peaceful prayer place.
  • Beautiful Shrine of Our Lady of the Oak. It is said that in wartime Our Lady saved the entire population by growing huge fronds to an Oak that immediately proved to be an excellent refuge hiding the people from German bombing and fascist barbarism. A slice of the old Oak is still guarded as a relic in the church. The newly restored frescoes are beautiful. You can attend many cultural events organized by the good parish priest. The beautiful cloister is definitely worth a visit especially on the occasion of the Christmas holidays where it comes alive with a large living crib cared for in detail by parishioners. Very nice
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