Sacra di San Michele: A Historical and Mystical Gem

10057 Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Metropolitan City of Turin, Italy

Perched dramatically atop Mount Pirchiriano in the Susa Valley of Piedmont, Italy, Sacra di San Michele stands as a testament to centuries of spiritual devotion and architectural prowess. This iconic abbey, with its rich history intertwined with legends of angels and knights, attracts pilgrims, history enthusiasts, and curious travelers alike. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your visit to this mystical site.

The appropriate period for the march

Marco Rossi

Marco Rossi

Where to go for new impressions and emotions? To Italy! Mountains, sea, lakes, architecture, food, shopping, and entertainment are all things that you will find in this country. Travel is transformation, travel is the best thing you can do for yourself, travel is life! Don't wait - travel now!

Where to go for new impressions and emotions? To Italy!
Mountains, sea, lakes, architecture, food, shopping, and
entertainment are all things that you will find in this country.
Travel is transformation, travel is the best thing you can do for
yourself, travel is life! Don't wait - travel now!

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History and Legends

Sacra di San Michele, also known as the Abbey of Saint Michael, traces its origins back to the late 10th century when construction began under the guidance of St. John Vincent. Legend has it that angels themselves intervened in the construction, moving materials to Mount Pirchiriano overnight. Over the centuries, the abbey evolved through various architectural styles, from Romanesque to Gothic, becoming a significant spiritual center and pilgrimage site.

What to See

The abbey complex consists of the Abbey Church, the New Church, and the New Monastery, each offering unique architectural and historical insights. Highlights include:

  • The Staircase of the Dead: A 243-step staircase carved into the rock, leading to the abbey, named for its historical use as a resting place for the deceased monks.
  • Tower of Bell’Alda: Offering panoramic views of the Susa Valley, this tower is steeped in the legend of Bell’Alda, a local girl saved by angels.
  • Zodiac Portal: Depicting the journey of the soul from earthly life to divine grace, adorned with seven distinct capitals representing various spiritual and astrological themes.

Legend of the Dragon Line

Sacra di San Michele is part of the mystical “Dragon Line,” a ley line connecting seven sanctuaries dedicated to Archangel Michael across Europe and the Middle East. This alignment is believed to hold significant spiritual energy, with Sacra di San Michele marking its central point.

What Not to Miss

  • The Crypt: Explore the ancient crypt beneath the abbey, once housing mummified monks.
  • Summer Solstice: Experience the alignment of the Dragon Line with other sanctuaries on this auspicious day.

Tips for Tourists

  • Best Time to Visit: Early mornings or late afternoons offer quieter times to explore the abbey and enjoy the views.
  • Guided Tours: Available in multiple languages, guided tours provide deeper insights into the abbey’s history and legends.
  • Dress Code: As a place of worship, modest attire is appreciated.

How to Get There

Located 40 km from Turin, Sacra di San Michele is accessible by car or public transportation:

  • By Car: Follow the A32/E70 to Sant’Ambrogio di Torino, then follow signs to Sacra di San Michele.
  • By Train: Take a train to Avigliana, then a bus or taxi to Sacra di San Michele.

Opening Hours: The abbey is open daily from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (may vary seasonally).

Ticket Prices: Entrance fee is approximately €10, with discounts for students and seniors.

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