The Blue Chapel

By January 14, 2015 October 10th, 2017 CHURCHS & GRAVEYARDS, EMILIA ROMAGNA urbex

This church was my secret dream since I started taking urban exploration pictures.IMG_5794After having piss off all my exploration mates, they can no longer hear me talk aboutAfter having piss off all my exploration mates, they can no longer hear me talk aboutthe blue chapel, and finally one of them, exhausted, has joined me in the research.The only information we had, concerned the episode of the Madonna who appeared to shepherds in the fifteenth century. And from there we started, going from church to church, and finding it, only after several weeks of research.Unfortunately, the original church was demolished, and it was rebuilt a new one in the nineteenth century, that’s why we could not find anything about it.The small church was built on the exact spot of the Marian apparition, and next to it was built a Franciscan monastery, which with the Napoleonic era and the end of the religious institution was finally abandoned in the late nineteenth century.It was used for a time as a prison, only to be left to silence a decade ago, while in the new church the faithful people celebrate the miracle of the apparition.IMG_5904The entrance is not easy, all the doors are locked from the inside, the only possibility is to climb to the second floor or sneak in from a small window which measures 50×50 cm.The entrance is not easy, all the doors are locked from the inside, the only possibility is to climb to the second floor or sneak in from a small window which measures 50×50 cm.I wanted to get at all costs and I slingshots inside the window, finding that there was already placed a chair on the other side, a sure sign that we were not the first and we will not be the last to see this little wonder.
In front of us we find immediately the kitchen, from which starts the corridor with the cells. Others begin snooping around, but I have the heart beating a thousand, it was my dream, and I go straight to the church, through the hallway, with closets and purple cassocks abandoned on the ground, the candles, psalms books and holy pictures everywhere … it seems that time has not passed, from the last door I can easily see the blue light.

And finally inside. I’m inside, and rest still, I do not know what to do, I wait the others, and as soon as my heart starts to stop throbbing like a drum, I begin to put the tripod and seek for the best shot. The church is smaller than I expected, in the middle there is a tomb with an already devasted ossuary, a sign that the grave robbers are already came. I put myself on the side and start shooting … 100, 200 pictures, in the end I take home more than three hundred shots that jealously preserve and I can not discard, because every angle has something unique, compared to others. We were lucky, there is a bright sun outside, and the effect of the blue glass is very strong, the photos seem retouched, instead everything is exactly as you see, magical.IMG_5895I spent an hour in this small church, and another hour around the convent, which unfortunately has been plundered of everything, and apart from some glimpses, and some details of the stairs, nothing remains. Fortunately the church is intact in its splendor, the benches all aligned, with the XXII century’s golden crocifix, overlooking the huge altar, all in perfect condition, a purple tunic, prayer books on benches and the list of the psalms make it seem that a Mass is coming, but is not like that, with only the wind to pierce the silence. There is a sign “For Sale” at the exit, no one knows who he is ownership, rumors say is desecrated and that the owner is in prison, I take the number, perhaps it was only put to keep out the curious, certainly is that I do not know until it would be accessible, the doors have recents padlocks, and will be more and more difficult to enter. We like to think it will stay that way forever.

This concludes our journey, fully satisfied, at least I, as this was my early birthday present, and with this happiness we travel for the second destination, though, in my heart, after ten minutes of travel, I would have gone back…to the blue chapel!

Marianna Arduini

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Marianna Arduini
Marianna Arduini
Marianna has been exploring for many years with her partner Mirco, she found in urbex the possibility to unite travel, photography and writing. Her passion are the abandoned churches, especially in the center of Italy. She is a 360° artist, in love with extreme wide-angle lenses.

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