Sunday, 15 May 2011

Monte again

Arriving puffing and panting finally at the little village of Monte, we made straight for the nearest coffee shop and had a well-earned rest and a caffeine hit.  The Church of Our Lady of Monte sits atop this hill, facing out over the countryside about 1,700ft below.  But, there was still a climb to be made before we got to it... The steps seemed to be the 'icing on the cake' after the climb up the hill, but up we went.
The present church was rebuilt after an earthquake had demolished the old building in December 1818 and was re-consecrated to the original patron saint whose veneration dates back to the 15th century.  It is a well-used church at all times, but particularly on 15th August, the feast of the Assumption.  It was in use the day we were there too.
Beautifully decorated inside, as many catholic churches are, the chandeliers were particularly impressive as the priest conducted a mass in German which for some reason, required him singing the German National Anthem in a rather flat and unmusical tone.  At least there was plenty to look at while he 'warbled'.  I took the pictures by the way, from the porch and without flash, so as not to disturb those inside - which by this time included Malcolm.
Leaving this rich sight behind, we turned and enjoyed the extensive views before looking round the village square and gardens.  More of them next time.
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