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    Photo: Lombardia Beni Culturali
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Santuario del S.mo Crocifisso Como

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The land where this shrine shrine now stands was once marsh close to the moat that surrounded the walled city of Como. It was barely habitable consisting of miserable hovels and shacks that led a dubious existence. In 1236 the canonical Erasmo Campacci embarked upon a clean up of the area—both physical and spiritual—by building a church in honour of SS. Annuciata. Nearly two hundred years later, a miracle would become associated with the crucifix housed in the church as recounted by historical documents.

Santuario del S.mo Crocifisso: Miracle

In 1400 European pilgrims preparing for their trip to Rome made a stop in Como, leaving a large crucifix with the Church where it took permanent residence. In 1608, a procession with the Crucifix, for an annual visit to seven churches, came to the bridge of St. Bartholomew, that was blocked by two large chains, one atop the other. The strand of imposing metal links barred passage into the city by enemy raiders. The ends of the chains were attached to big rings of iron secured to the walls by lock and key.

Not being granted permission to have the chains unlocked, nothing remained but to pass underneath. When the Crucifix was carried through, the chain was torn from the solid stone wall, bringing down a large amount of stones. This miracle has been celebrated and recognized every year since.

The Basilica is formed by a single nave on a latin cross layout. In the side walls there are four chapels, in addition to the two formed from the transverse transept. The vast temple (length m.70 to m. 32 wide) is a succession of vaults and domes. Outside, there is the majestic bell tower, attributed to Juvara. In an ambulatory next to the church there is an interesting collection of votive paintings of all ages and sizes.