Basilica della Madonna dell'Umiltà

Architecture & Buildings

Europe, Italy, Pistoia

The Basilica of Our Lady of Humility is a Roman Catholic Marian basilica in Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy. A miracle attributed to the fresco of the Madonna of humility painted in about 1370 gave rise to the construction of the basilica. The fresco is sometimes attributed to Bartolomeo Cristiani, but was perhaps due to a local painter from Pistoia. The basilica, built by architect Ventura Vitoni, is an important example of high Renaissance architecture. Giorgio Vasari built the octagonal dome atop the basilica in 1562. The original fresco remains within the basilica. According to legend, on July 17, 1490, in the midst of the infighting between local power factions some people saw blood dripping from the forehead of the Madonna fresco, since the Virgin Mary suffered from the bloodshed in the region. The miracle was confirmed by Bishop Nicholas Pandolfini and the important families of Pistoia decided to build the sanctuary to honor the Madonna.