Shrine of Our Lady of the Castle
Before climbing up to the Sanctuary, you will see on your left the small church of Saint Roch in Invorio Superiore, where mass is celebrated only once a year on August 16, the day of its patron saint’s commemoration. Until quite recently, the tradition of blessing the domestic and farm animals was carried out during the morning service. Following the same path, you will find the Invorio Superiore parish church, constructed after 1450 on the remains of a subsequently reworked Visconti fortress, and dedicated to Saint James.
In 1865 the parish priest Don G. Ottone decided to have the presbytery’s floor renovated; today it hosts an elegant star-shaped mosaic. From here, you can follow the marked street to the left to reach the shrine. Its location allows for a view of the built-up area of Ghevio, with its bell tower/tower, the village of Colazza, the Tiasca Valley that leads to Meina, and the same semi-hidden Invorio tower. The second floor provides a view of the Vergante as far as Nebbiuno.
The small church was originally dedicated to Saint Mary Elizabeth and was also known as the Sanctuary of the Girdle because of a painting inside of the Madonna throwing her girdle to the apostle Thomas during her assumption into the sky.
Still today it is used to follow the procession of torches that accompanies the statue in procession. The presbytery that contains the elegant black marble main altar with inlaid polychrome decoration was built on the ruins of the central tower.
A beautiful wooden statue of Mary handing over her Sacred Girdle while holding up the Baby Jesus with her left hand sits in a niche carved into the wall near the altar. In 1867 a small “hospice” designed for the appointed guardians of the church, two Franciscans from the Mesma convent, was added behind it. The same year the chancel and presbytery vault decorations, with the image of Madonna and the Girdle surrounded by angels in the clouds, were added to the church. In July 1901 two statues, of Saint Joachim and Saint Anna, were placed to either side of the statue of the Virgin.
Accessible by car up a narrow dirt road, or by walking for about an hour on foot along a pleasant path through the woods that starts from the parish church.
Open only during functions.