The Church of Our Lady of Consolation

Although built in 1526, the Church of Our Lady of Consolation was not consecrated until 1565 when it was entrusted to the Franciscan friars. A monastery was also built for them, used for that purpose until 1904 and demolished in 1960. Today the Church is in the baroque style. The impressive main wooden door is carved with cherubs, Farnese lilies, grotesques and two scenes from the Annunciation. The creation of the coffered ceiling in carved and painted wood was started in 1615 and is a rare testimony of Franciscan art. In the fourth space you can see St. Francis. The choir behind the main altar, which dates from 1604, has artistic wooden seats. You will find a frescoed ceiling and precious wooden cabinets in the great sacristy. There are also shrines in the Baroque style containing precious relics. The main altar, built in 1590, is topped by a gilded wooden shrine. At the centre of the shrine three angels hold an oval fresco, which is considered to be miraculous, depicting Our Lady of Consolation. According to local legend the fresco was originally housed a small country chapel, to which it returned each time it was moved. This miracle stopped when the Church of Our Lady of Grace was built and the fresco was replaced with a copy. Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, moved by these wonders, decided to renovate the Church of Our Lady of Consolation and place the image of the Virgin Mary there. In the side chapels there are many preserved works of art, like the painting of St. Francis in prayer attributed to Annibale Carracci, and a beautiful wooden crucifix.


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