A place of spirituality in Matera
On the remains of an ancient rock church dedicated to the “Madonna di Cava” – traces of which remain in the frescoed image of Mater Domini above the altar – stands the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Palomba in Matera, built following a miracle on 4th July 1579.
The façade features a portal surmounted by a high relief of the Holy Family, an elegant rose window and a niche containing a statue of the Archangel Michael, in the centre of a tripartite space of pillars and blind arches. The building has a single nave with six niches either side, containing statues of saints. The triumphal arch pillars feature frescoes of the Crucifixion and San Biagio, while the upper register houses mid-17th-century medallions of the twelve apostles.
The presbytery leads, on the right, to a side aisle of the church, completely cut into the rock and built shortly after the foundation of the sanctuary, used to welcome pilgrims.