"Basilica de Sant?Ubaldo, Gubbio's holiest place" Top 5 Page for this destination Basilica Sant'Ubaldo Tip by Trekki
Basilica Sant'Ubaldo, Gubbio: 3 reviews and 15 photos
In April 2008, my main intention to walk up to the basilica was to see the ceri. In between the festivals they are sitting in a side nave of this basilica, which is logical, because it is here where the ceraioli bring them at the end of their race. They sit there until the first Sunday in May when the ceraioli bring them down into Palazzo dei Consoli. There they are being kept until May 15, the day of the Festa dei Ceri.
The outside of the basilica looks very simple. Once it was a tiny church, chiesa San Gervasio, but after Sant’Ubaldo’s body was brought here end of 12th century, the church was expanded several times. Now it looks huge, but this is also a result of the complicated building style at the slope. The big entrance portal at the end of the stairs (photo 5) leads into a rather modern but beautiful looking courtyard (photo 4) with some remains of frescoes at the walls. Inside, the church is very light and airy and has only a couple of benches for the pilgrims. The centre of attention is the magnificent marble altar with inlays and decoration and on top a glass sarcophagus with the body of Sant’Ubaldo. In the favourite section I have described the very much important role, Sant’Ubaldo has for the locals and that despite he biologically died 850 years ago, his body is still there, not decayed. No one has an explanation for this phenomenon and it is said that even independent scientists have examined why his body is still in the condition he is today. He wasn’t and isn’t prepared in any way and his body is being taken out of the glass casket during special events. I am here quite often since my first visit in April 2008, and yes, I come up the hill to talk to him, to ask him for advice, because I have realised that he is still among the people who love him and he watches over them (or us). In August 2010, during the celebration of the year of his biological death 850 years ago, his body was taken from the pedestal and placed in front of the altar so that everyone could see him properly. There is a very moving video of the exhibition of his body, with a chorus singing his song O Lume della Fede and close up shots of his body.
Inside of the basilica, beautiful modern and colourful stained glass windows show scenes of Sant’Ubaldo’s life. And in the right side nave are the three ceri. They are indeed huge and anytime when I look at them I am most impressed of the size and could only guess the enormous effort of the ceraioli to carry them uphill during this race.
There is no entrance fee to the basilica; it is a pilgrim church. But it would be nice to leave a small donation in one of the boxes or light a candle. This is what I did with the wish that I would come back. And I did come back. And again and again.
A beautiful aerial view of the basilica is shown in the video of master Giampaolo Pauselli: areal view of Basilica Satnt'Ubaldo
Basilica Sant’Ubaldo on Google Maps
© Ingrid D., Feb. 2009, complete text revamp December 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
Directions: Walk through Porta Sant’Ubaldo behind the cathedral and uphill until you reach the basilica. You cannot miss it.
Phone: +39 075 927 3872
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