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The shrine of Pietralba.



This shrine (and monastery) is situated in Monte San Pietro; in the municipality of Nova Ponente.

It is at 1520 meters on the sea level.

It is not far from Bolzano.

There are two legends about the creation of this church.

Here is one.

In 1547 Leonhard Weißensteiner; a farmer who lived in Nova Ponente became insane.

Then he was interned in an asylum.

Here, he often had some moments of mental clarity.

In one of these moments the Virgin Mary appeared. She asked him to build a chapel to thank her for his healing.

During a moment of rage Leonhard was able to escapefrom the asylum.

He fell into a ravine. He also recovered completely from madness.

While he was thinking how to get out of the deep ravine the Virgin appeared again to comfort him and to remind him he had to built a chapel.

The Virgin said that at the end of the ninth day his relatives would have found him.

She also said he hadn' t to be afraid because he would have had food and protections from the beasts living in the forest.

He was found on the ninth day, but he forgot the task asked by the Virgin.

His pain returned and also much stronger.

A light was seen at night; in the same place. Nobody could explain this thing.

Leonhard recalled what he had to do. He recovered his health, so he began to built the chapel.

While he was building the chapel, he found a small statue of the Virgin, representing the pietà.

Once the chapel was made he put the statuette inside it.

In 1561 beside the chapel, another one was built.

The current church was built from 1638 and 1654. In 1718 a monastery was joined to the church.

Later on other additions were made to the whole building.


The original chapel is still inside the church. It is into this little house.


The ceiling of the basilica was painted with frescoes by Joseph Adam Mölk in 1753. He was a Viennese painter.





The interior of the basilica is not very large. There are lots of things to see inside.


Beside the church there is a long corridor with more than 4000 ex voto. These are drawings, pictures, paintings and other things.




The sanctuary is surrounded by woods and meadows.

If you feel like walking there are other thinks to see in the area; including Leonhard' s cave.


There are a couple of hotels, an hostel, (I think) more than a restaurant and a souvenirs shop near the basilica.

You can get to this beautiful place by car and also by bus from Bolzano. Ther is a bus stop nearby.


I went there by coach with a large group. I liked a lot this trip!

Posted by Maurizioagos 15:43 Archived in Italy Tagged italy shrine bolzano pietralba.

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Beautiful building and interesting story.

by irenevt

Thanks Irene! It' s a Baroque masterpiece.

by Maurizioagos

The frescoes are stunning. We always look for frescoes when we are out sightseeing. These are truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

by Beausoleil

Thank you Rosalie!

by Maurizioagos

....thank you Sally!

by Maurizioagos

What a great place for a pilgrimage! Thanks for sharing, Maurizio!

by Vic_IV

You're welcome Viktor!

by Maurizioagos

Interesting story! I am glad you enjoyed your trip! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Thanks for reading this post Henna!

by Maurizioagos

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