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Sanctuary of the Madonna of Monserrato

Places of worship

Near Porto Azzurro an enchanting sanctuary of Baroque-Iberian inspiration

The Sanctuary of the Madonna of Monserrato stands perched on top of a rocky spur, about three kilometers from Porto Azzurro. The building, set in a very characteristic landscape among cypress trees and Mediterranean scrub, was built in 1606 at the behest of José Pons y Léon, Spanish governor of the Presidio of Longone. The man was in fact particularly attached to the cult of the Black Madonna, which in Catalonia is venerated in the Sanctuary of Montserrat, and he also donated a painting depicting the famous ebony statue to be kept inside the chapel.

The sanctuary is distinguished by a clear Baroque-Iberian matrix and features a high dome. The interior is mostly bare, although in a few places the walls reveal traces of frescoes. On the marble altar is a painting of the Black Madonna, by an unknown author, of great attraction to the worshippers.

Sanctuary of Monserrato
Sanctuary of Monserrato - Credit: Sailko

The sanctuary enjoyed much fame especially in the 17th and 18th centuries, becoming the destination of frequent pilgrimages by sailors, farmers, preachers. Over the years, however, it fell into a gradual state of neglect, until the end of the 19th century. Today the building, restored, is reopened for worship, and every year in Porto Azzurro the feast of the Madonna of Monserrato is celebrated on September 8, one of the most heartfelt festivities of the population.