Sanctuary of Brughiera
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Heathland (Nostra Signora della Brughiera) is situated charming hamlet of Brughiera inside a vast natural oasis that spans parts of Valle Sessera, Valle Mossa and Valle Cervo, where there are many hiking trails. The complex consists of two sacred buildings. In the ancient church (early 16th century), several frescoes and painting on wood depicting the Virgin (18th century) can be found, while the second church was built in the 17th century to contain the increasing flow of pilgrims. Inside the three naves with 18th century frescoes, the are to be noted the top of the altar, a statue carved in stone green representing the Christ taken down from the Cross, and Baroque floral motifs. Above the small altar, a wooden statue of Mary, called the "Madonna della Brughiera" stands in a marble niche. The lovely churchyard and surrounding land is an authentic explosion of plants and flowers. Oral history tells how at the beginning of the 1500s, a shepherd girl who was born deaf was miraculously healed and began to hear and speak. In the 1800s, the sanctuary was connected with the parish of Bulliana through a significant Via Crucis whose chapels were decorated with frescos by the painter Avond di Varallo in 1835 and by Antonio Ciancia di Caprile. The ancient church is therefore the final station of the cross in this Via Crucis.