Santuario della Consolata
Some countries are destined to remain historic by the sheer virtue of their architectural magnificence that are reminiscent of yesteryear’s glory and tumult and undoubtedly Italy being the heartland of erstwhile Roman empire deserves to be considered as one of them. Turin, the northern Italian aristocratic city is of significance not only because of the historical lineage that it boasts of or its heritage places but also for some of the discreet living charms that this city offers with its verdant leafy gardens, scenic hillside, spectacular palaces and churches of great baroque architecture and picturesque neighborhoods. Santuario della Consolata is the oldest church or place of worship in the city of Turin.
A history of tumult and faith
Like the peculiarity of its name which means ‘Church of Our Lady of Consolation’ the history of this great worship place also went through great tumult and faith. As per historical accounts this church was first established by great 5th century bishop Maximus from the remains of an erstwhile pagan temple, but at that time the church was of much smaller size with a small chapel dedicated to Virgin Mary and an image of Madonna. The present architectural expanse of the church was first initiated by the monks in 11th century. It is considered as the oldest Turin building that survived after the so called Roman architectures.
It is said that a blind man came to Turin in search of the Madonna image kept within this church and upon confronting the image he regained his sight and this miraculous event made people believe in the heavenly significance of the image and the church and consequently in the 12th century the Madonna image was taken inside and the church was elevated to the rank of basilica. After remaining at the center stage of worship in the city of Turin for close to five consecutive centuries it again went through architectural renovation and enlargement by the famous Baroque architect Filippo Juvarra and from 1720 to 1740 many of its architectural aspects and places of significance were redesigned and reengineered. Under the Napoleonic influence religious orders were suspended in the nineteenth century but normalcy of religious order and rites regained normalcy in Basilica La Consolata after the fall of Napoleon. Thus this great place of worship practically went through long array of political tumult all through the historic eras and so to know the city in its essence it is undoubtedly a never miss place in any Turin holidays itinerary.
What to see in Basilica La Consolata
If you are an ardent enthusiast of architectural marvels or artistic heritages or places that give wide angle reminiscences of history and its array of events, then this is the place to be in your tour to Turin. This is the oldest place of Turin and showcases all that the city passed through for more than one and a half millennia. From the neoclassical style Corinthian columns to the late Baroque classicism of the large dome, Basilica La Consolata is practically a splendorous showcase of many historical traditions of finest heritage architecture. While you complete reveling at the glimpses of architectural brilliance all through the church and the bell tower the holy picture of Virgin is waiting inside to mesmerize you.
Important things to know
Basilica La Consolata is located within the main city of Turin itself and well connected by all public transportations. The church remains open from 7 am in the morning to 8 pm. In the evening in all seven days of the week and the entry to the church is non-restricted and free for all.
Best time to visit
Italian summer is famous all over the world for its warm and charming Mediterranean weather and mid August to September, the official summer of Italy is also the peak season for tourists. So if you hate to be buggered too much by the clamor of tourists all rounds choosing an alternative time of the year can be good for you. April to May can be a better option for a tour to Turin or anywhere in Italy since weather is equally bright yet you can at least avoid the suffocating rush of peak season.