Tourist Attraction in Madignano: Santuario della Beata Vergine del Marzale
The sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Marzale, is an ancient place of Marian worship located at Ripalta Vecchia. The Marzale sanctuary, more simply the Marzale as is popularly called the building, is located along the narrow and winding road that from Ripalta Vecchia leads to Ripalta Arpina winding on the ridge of two river valleys, that of Serio on one side and that of the Seriously Dead on the other. The surroundings of the church give this sacred place an atmosphere of intimate gathering, calm and reflection; surrounded by the fields, in the middle of the Serio Park, the sanctuary is located at the end of the high shore of the Serio River, which is accessed by a 12 m high cliff that separates the Marzale from the cremuscan river. A square enclosed by a rustic wall allows access to the actual church, surrounded on two sides by a porch and without a real facade: a solution dictated by the need to protect the frescoes of Via Crucis by Tommaso Piccinardi, placed outside, but perhaps the consequence of the collapse of part of the church after a full of Serious. The church has a unique classroom and ends with three chapels. In the central one is the Baroque altar that encircles the devotional image of the Madonna del Latte, a work of unknown author and dating back to the fifteenth century. The Virgin appears sitting in the act of bringing milk to the Child in her arms holding a small flower with a hand. Particularly interesting are the frescoes on the side walls: on the north there are depictions of the 14th and 15th century partially overlapping and presumably work by local artists. One of them, in particular, represents Santa Caterina's wedding and was performed on behalf of the Terni family of Crema. Other images depict a Madonna of Milk, a Holy Ignude (perhaps San Sebastian), a Madonna in Throne and others referring to Our Lady. A fresco is interrupted by the counterfed, another clear indication that the church once was longer. The frescoes on the southern wall are more regular (Madonna in Throne, Works of Mercy, Saint Francis) and date back to 1580. Tele and ex voto have been removed from the Shrine for the danger of theft. On the southern side of the church is a building that once used to be a hermit's residence (in the dialect "rèmech"), which once provided for the maintenance and opening of the church. A ladder (known as the "ladder ladder") descends from the wooded cove to the valley of Serio at the point where the eighteenth-century Chapel of the Habitat rises. The area around the sanctuary was a theater in 1202 of an episode that is part of the medieval struggles between the municipalities, particularly those between Crema and Cremona. For more than a century, precisely since 1098, when Henry III gave the Insula Fulcheria to Cremona, the two armies were struggling hard and in that context included the historical siege of Crema, to which Emperor Federico I participated. After peace of Constance (1183), the emperor sanctioned the legitimacy of the Lombard League, which allowed the communes to recover much of their autonomy and benefited Milan and, together with that, the municipality of Crema. On the square in front of the church stands the Chapel of the Deaths of the Marzale, which was born as a sacred cemetery in order to remember the fallen of a battle fought between Guelph and Ghibelline factions in 1403. It presents on the wall of the Madonna del Carmine with Child and the souls of purgatory, on the side walls the martyrdom of San Sebastiano and Sant'Imerio Bishop, the patron saint of the parish of Ripalta Vecchia.