The Sacred Mount of Oropa is inserted in a splendid alpine scenario at 1,200 metres above sea level, a short distance from the city of Biella. The complex containing the sanctuary and the Sacred Mount is considered the most important place of Marian worship of the alpine area.
The Sacred Mount was built between 1617 and 1620, on the initiative of the Cappuccino Friar, Padre Fedele da San Germano. Its construction coincided with extensive transformation operations promoted by the Savoia Family, that involved the collection of buildings of the vast monumental complex dedicated to the Black Madonna. Contrary to other cases, where it was the noble families that financed the construction of the religious complexes, here it was the parish communities and the districts “rioni” of the city of Biella, along with the Duke of Savoia, that funded the construction of the chapels.
The Sacred Mount is composed of twelve chapels dedicated to the life of the Virgin. The original project planned for a series of twenty chapels, that were to narrate an extensive number of significant episodes of the life of Mary, known from the Sacred Scriptures and the Apocryphal Gospels. The aediculae have various types of layouts:
central circular, rectangular, oval or cross-
The chapels are set out in two