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Sacro Monte of Brissago

At the beginning of the 18th century, a master mason from Brissago built a chapel on a cliff over the river that is now called "Riale del Sacro Monte", in a place of great naturalistic charm, probably as a sign of thanks for grace received.
The pyramid shape of the cliff made him think of Mount Calvary, and for this reason the mountain that had been named Monte Capriccio (a capriccio is a whim or tantrum) was renamed Monte Addolorata (sorrowful).
Around it, he built access paths and probably some Stations of the Cross.
The construction of the current monumental complex began with the addition to the original chapel of a nave, the vestry and the Prior's house.
The sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows is formed by two buildings erected at different times: the ancient chapel surmounted by a dome which now functions as the chancel, and the nave with two bays. The interior is richly decorated in late eighteenth century style with Baroque stuccoes.
The high altar is richly decorated with polychrome marbles. Inside the building, visitors can also find the tomb with tombstone of the merchant and benefactor Antonio Francesco Branca, who built the access road. For this generosity, he obtained the "jus patronato" from the Brissago community, who placed Brother Francesco Maria, a Capuchin friar, as the owner of the benefit and manager of Sacro Monte.
He also completed the chapels of the Stations of the Cross, and enlarged the small square in front of the church by cutting away part of the mountain.
At the end of the 1900s, the entire complex was completely restored.
The path leading to the chapel in the vicinity of the old mills is very impressive, and constitutes an alternative path to that of the Via Crucis.

Sacro Monte