Sacro Monte di Ossuccio
Sacro Monte di Ossuccio, Churches of Como
The Santuario della Madonna del Soccorso and the chapels of the Sacro Monte occupy an enchanting, panoramic position overlooking the village of Ossuccio, on the western bank of Lake Como.
The architectural complex of the Sacro Monte di Ossuccio, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is situated in Garzola and comprises 14 chapels, the Church and the portico opposite, the Cappella della Beata Vergine del Soccorso and the Bell tower.
The chapels are located along Viale del Santuario which leads from Garzola to the Santuario. The construction of the complex dates back to between the 16th and 18th centuries.
Popular tradition links the origins of devotion to the Madonna at the site to an ancient statue and painting of Mary. The white marble statue, which was probably hidden at the site in times of battles and invasions, was discovered by a deaf and mute child who was then miraculously cured; the statue is now located in a votive chapel attached to the Santuario.
The painting – which depicts the Virgin Mary with the Baby Jesus and Saint Euphemia, the patron saint of the nearby parish of Isola – dates back to 1501 and is displayed above one of the side altars in the Santuario. As visitors climb the long road to the Santuario del Soccorso, they pass the chapels – which represent the Mysteries of the Rosary – and have the chance to discover the key phases in Christian life, in representation of the journey towards the house of the Holy Father.
Experiencing the effort of walking, before stopping to contemplate and meditate, offers visitors the chance to see their own lives reflected in that of Christ, guided by the hand of his mother Mary.
The Sacro Monte della Beata Vergine del Soccorso di Ossuccio was in 2003 named a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with a series of Sacri Monti in Piedmont and Lombardy.
The Santuario is located in the municipality of Tremezzina on the western bank of Lake Como, 25 kilometres from the town of Como itself. It is situated on the slope of the mountain at 400 metres above sea level, overlooking the villages of Ossuccio and Lenno and facing Isola Comacina.
The Santuario, which is completely isolated, is surrounded by fields, olive groves and wooded areas. Its position on a small hill means visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the central part of the lake.
The only way to reach the Santuario is on foot, along the road lined with chapels. Elderly, sick or disabled people may be transported from the fourth chapel to the Santuario by car on request, but numbers are limited.