Madonna di Pietralba in the Val d’Ega
The cathedral in the Dolomites
An imposing, monumental sight in the charming natural landscape of the Val d’Ega: the pilgrimage site of Madonna di Pietralba. Every tree, every meadow seemed to glow with the apparition of the Virgin Mary to hermit Leonhard Weissensteiner who, after falling into a deep ravine, encountered the Mother of God in 1553. In her honour he erected a little chapel, which was subsequently ex-panded and turned into an impressive pilgrimage site and gave its name to the little hamlet close to Monte San Pietro.
A world-famous site and the Pope
On 24 August 1885, the image of the grieving Madonna was crowned once again by the then Bishop of Trento, Giovanni Giacomo della Bona, in the presence of 130 priests and 15,000 believers. The pilgrimage site reached worldwide fame when it was visited by Pope John Paul II in July 1988. The magic of the lush green landscape around the “Cathedral in the Dolomites” had already been much appreciated by Pope John Paul I during his summer retreat here.
A magnificent building from the Baroque era
The pilgrimage site of Madonna di Pietralba is seen as a sacred place from which to draw strength by the faithful and spiritually inclined, giving hope for healing and insight. Numerous votive pictures adorning the side entrance of the church testify to the gratitude of these pilgrims. The church itself holds several art treasures, such as the devotional image of the grieving Madonna, the high altar overlaid with beaten gold and silver, frescoes in the arches created by Adam Mölk and side altars by Pussjäger, as well as other artwork by A. Silber and F. Haider. The church also features the original chapel, while the Chapel of St. Peregrine Laziosi, patron saint of cancer patients, is located next to the church.
Opening hours: The church is open throughout the year from 07:30 to 19:00.