Italy: The amazing Santuario Madonna della Corona church is built into the side of a cliff

Pictured: The amazing Italian church built on the side of a 2500 feet high mountain…that almost looks like it’s hanging in mid-air

  • Santuario Madonna della Corona is built on a rocky plateau on Mount Baldo above the valley of the River Adige
  • The beautiful location has been used for the past 1000 years as a place for quiet contemplation and prayer
  • In 1982 it was declared a ‘minor basilica’ of Italy and in 1988 Pope John Paul II paid a visit to the church

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Simply heavenly.

Located 774 meters above sea level, this amazing Italian church is built into the side of a cliff.

And as these photos show, it almost looks like it’s hanging in the air – the Avatar of chapels.

The Santuario Madonna della Corona (or Sanctuary of the Lady of the Crown), which is built into the side of Mount Baldo

It is a popular place for pilgrims who are drawn to the church by the beautiful views and the art on display

It is a popular place for pilgrims who are drawn to the church by the beautiful views and the art on display

The beautiful church is located on a thin rock face on a cliff that is 774 meters above sea level

The beautiful church is located on a thin rock face on a cliff that is 774 meters above sea level

Called the Santuario Madonna della Corona (or Sanctuary of the Lady of the Crown), it is built on a thin rock slab on Mount Baldo above the valley of the River Adige, close to Lake Garda.

It is a popular spot for pilgrims who are drawn to the beautiful views, sculptures and replica of the Scala Santa – the stairs Jesus is said to have walked in Pilate’s palace before his crucifixion.

The history of Santuario Madonna della Corona goes back over 1000 years, the site was originally a hermitage where monks associated with the Abbey of St Zeno in Verona traveled for quiet contemplation.

According to the church websiteIn the second half of the 13th century there was a monastery on the site with a chapel dedicated to Saint Mary of Montebaldo.

The site of the church was originally a hermitage, where monks associated with the Abbey of St Zeno in Verona gathered for quiet contemplation

The site of the church was originally a hermitage, where monks associated with the Abbey of St Zeno in Verona gathered for quiet contemplation

The current Gothic facade of the church was added to the building in 1899.  It has undergone many renovations and restorations

The current Gothic facade of the church was added to the building in 1899. It has undergone many renovations and restorations

The church's website explains: 'This place is ideal for those who want to combine moments of prayer and inner peace with opportunities to relax and enjoy the silence that nature can offer in this beautiful place'

The church’s website explains: ‘This place is ideal for those who want to combine moments of prayer and inner peace with opportunities to relax and enjoy the silence that nature can offer in this beautiful place’

Inside the Santuario Madonna della Corona.  In 1982 it was declared a 'minor basilica' of Italy and Pope John Paul II brought it in 1988

Inside the Santuario Madonna della Corona. In 1982 it was declared a ‘minor basilica’ of Italy and Pope John Paul II brought it in 1988

But it wasn’t until 1530 that the earliest structure of the existing church was inaugurated – though worshipers had to navigate a small passage along a cliff to reach it. Later, two sets of access stairs were built, including a bridge, so that visitors no longer had to cross the river.

In 1625 an even larger church was built 13 feet above the existing building and in 1899 the current Gothic facade was added.

The church complex survived into the 20th century and underwent a complete restoration in the 1970s.

Pilgrims can reach the church by walking for two hours on a trail that starts in the nearby town of Brentino

Pilgrims can reach the church by walking for two hours on a trail that starts in the nearby town of Brentino

In 1982 it was declared a ‘minor basilica’ of Italy and Pope John Paul II visited it in 1988.

Today, pilgrims can reach Santuario Madonna della Corona by either following a two-hour hiking trail from the town of Brentino, or they can drive to the town of Spiazzi and walk the one-kilometer road to the church. The road features 14 bronze statues representing the Stations of the Cross. There is also a shuttle bus that runs to the church from Spiazzi on the same road.

The church’s website states: ‘This place is ideal for those who want to combine moments of prayer and inner peace with opportunities to relax and enjoy the silence that nature can offer in this wonderful place.’

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