Rifiano and Caines in Passiria valley

Rifiano and Caines, two villages at the beginning of Passiria valley, in close proximity to the spa town of Merano and the hiking areas of the Tessa Group Nature Park, lie in the midst of orchards, lush meadows and forests of chestnut trees.

The pilgrimage site of Rifiano attracts numerous pilgrims. The pilgrims' church of "I sette dolori di Maria" or the Seven Sorrows of Mary, is a Baroque church building, which was designed by architect Franz Delai and constructed in 1671. The high altar by Bartlmen Grätl is considered a particular masterpiece. The 15th century pieta and the 12th century baptismal font are also of artistic interest. Close by the pilgrims’ church there stands the Chapel of Our Lady, a building standing on a square groundplan with its cross vault and wonderful frescoes dating from 1425.

The object which brings pilgrims to this church is a sculpture wrought in stucco of the Mater Dolorosa, Our Lady of Sorrows, in the centre of the altar above the tabernacle. The first mention of a church for the adoration of Our Lady of Sorrows dates from 1310, when the adoration of Virgin Mary in Rifiano was officially acknowledged by four bishops. At first, the miracle-working image of Virgin Mary was stored in the chapel, but the steadily increasing number of pilgrims made it necessary to erect a larger church for the adoration of the miracle-working image of Virgin Mary. From then on, the sculpture has resided on the high altar of the Baroque church.

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