The Sacro Monte di Varallo

The Sacro Monte di Varallo, built at the end of the 15th century on the initiative of the Franciscan friar Bernardino Caimi to recreate holy places from Palestine in the Alps, represents the oldest example and artistically the most interesting of the Sacri Monti. Also named "New Jerusalem" by Saint Carlo Borromeo, who gave new impetus to the work, the complex of over fifty buildings took two centuries to build. A visit to the Sacro Monte is a journey through the most emblematic events of the Bible that can start from the chapel of Adam and Eve (Cappella di Adamo ed Eva) before passing to the Annunciation and events from the life of Christ, culminating in the dramatic episode of the Passion, expressed in different episodes that recount the last hours of Christ on Earth up to the Resurrection. The representations are among the most vivid in the history of Christian art: the narration unfolds over 34 chapels, isolated or found in more extensive architectural works, and is portrayed in a scene of 800 life-sized, multi-coloured, wood and terracotta statues and over 4,000 figures painted in frescoes. Among the most important artists who contributed to the works was Gaudenzio Ferrari, who collaborated with the founder to start the Sacro Monte: his is the magnificent chapel of the Crucifixion (Cappella della Crocifissione).
Sacro Monte di Varallo, facciata dell'abbazia
Varallo, rappresentazione di una scena biblica
Varallo, Adamo ed Eva in Paradiso

Where to buy