A Mysterious Chapel Hidden On A Cliff 2,000 Feet Above Sea Level Is Steeped In Supernatural Secrets
In the far north of Italy, amidst the soaring peaks of the Alps, a chapel clings perilously to the mountainside. For centuries, pilgrims have made the arduous trek to this sanctuary from the valley below, drawn to its lonely location and ethereal appearance. But the history of this unlikely building is even stranger than you might imagine.
The Santuario Madonna della Corona
According to legend, the chapel known today as Santuario Madonna della Corona was built in the 16th century, when a bizarre miracle drew villagers to this remote spot. But in reality, its origins stretch back much farther into the past. According to medieval records, the site has been a place of religious significance since the 10th century A.D.
Romeo and Juliet
Around the year 1000, it’s believed, hermits from nearby Verona traveled to the Monte Baldo region where the Santuario Madonna della Corona now stands. Reportedly, they came from the Abbey of St. Zeno — a place that would acquire its own fame centuries later as the reported site of Romeo and Juliet’s ill-fated wedding.
St. Mary of Montebaldo
According to the sanctuary’s official website, a monastery has existed on the site since at least the late 13th century. At that point, it was dedicated to St. Mary of Montebaldo, a nod to the mountains that hem in the sanctuary on all sides. And in order to reach it, pilgrims had to ascend thousands of feet along a vertigo-inducing path.
A strange light
But why build a religious sanctuary in such an out-of-the way place? Well, there are a number of legends that purport to explain the impractical location of the Santuario Madonna della Corona. According to one, everything began back in the 10th century, when villagers living in the nearby Adige Valley witnessed a strange glow twinkling on the mountainside.