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Madonna dell’Altare

Municipality: Palena (CH)

Locality: Porrara Mount, at about 1280 m a.s.l.

Building: The complex is placed on a cliff preceded by a yard with three fenced sides, and it seems like a little fortress. It is formed by a church, a very articulated and elegant housing area and a roof garden obtained on the cliff.
A long external corridor, overlooking on a balcony, leads to the square in front of the complex, which entrance is constituted by a simple gate with a round arch.
The church has a front with horizontal crowning, in the middle there's a gate with an architrave and a lunette window on the top of it.
The inside of the church, which was rebuilt in the modern era, has a rectangular plan with an irregular roofing.
The housing sector develops on three levels on the right side of the church without any structural interruption.

History and traditions: The sanctuary was built near the Taverna, a cave where Pietro da Morrone stayed between 1235 and 1236. The place's name originates from the shape of the rock on which the structure was built. The construction is probably to be date back to the 14th century, by the will of the celestinian order in remembrance of its founder.
They lived in the sanctuary until 1807, becoming an important centre for all the observant people of the surrounding towns. For 200 years the Perticone family supervised the sanctuary, with some problems.
During the last war it was turned into a prison by the German army and in 1970 it was then donated by the aristocratic family to the City. In many occasions pilgrims arriving at the hermitage spend the night there.
The current tradition is to go there on the 2nd of July and on the 12th of September for the Madonna dell'Altare feast and on the 15th of August for the St. Falco di Palena feast. The hermitage is closed from the 21st of November to Pentecost.

Reachable: by car, or with paths L1 and L2

Visit information: Marsican Bear Museum – Tel. +39.339.8629165

Image of the outside of "Madonna dell'Altare"
Image of the front of "Madonna dell'altare"
Image of "Madonna dell'altare"
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