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Oratory of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Protection

Address: Via Rimembranze

Tourist offices:

Little church at Riolo.

The place where the church stands today was called "Crosaro" or "Crocciario" and that is where the image of the Madonna of the Protection was to be found, while Gaddoni speaks of a pillar, an old manuscript refers to "a ball which supported her". At that point in 1681, work started on the church for Maria Menni, who died in 1683, she left behind her Confraternity of the Protection which had been instituted in 1679. The story goes that on the evening of the 7 July 1667, there was a very violent storm in the area and hail stones destroyed all the vegetation growing in the fields. The locals turned to Madonna of the Rosary asking her to protect them in future from such disasters. The following year was the first procession to the "Crosaro", to the Madonna and the plan to build an oratory for the purpose was made, ten years later a Confraternity called "Presidio" “Protection” consisting of 30 people. The little church of oval shape with an elegant altar opened on 15 October in 1684. That day the ceramic sculpture with the ball was transferred there, and from that day on it was known as "del Presidio". In 1691 a donation from G. Mazzolani enabled the holy Effigy to be surrounded by an artistic gold plated crown made by Antonio Gasparotto from Bologna. Following the suppression of the Confraternity, the oratory passed to the "Mariani" of Riolo for a time. In 1835 the old crumbling building was rebuilt nearby. However in 1918, it was moved to widen the station road and the church was rebuilt in its old place with an arch by Francesco Bagnaresi built in memory of those killed during the 1915-18 war, and frescoes by Prof. Carlo Testi, both from Riolo. The church measures 6.50 X 4.70 it has a semi-circular apsidal covered by a cross, below the floor is the crypt. The first stone was placed on 4 November 1923 by Oreste Totti and it was consecrated 4 May 1926 by bishop of Imola Tribbioli. The bell is still the original dated 1703.


Opening hours:
The small church can only be visited from the outside.

Last updated: 31/10/2013