Calvary (sanctuary)

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Sacro Monte di Varallo, Tabacchetti and Giovanni d'Enrico, Christ on the Road to Calvary, 1599-1600, sculpted main figures and a fresco behind
Devotions at Žemaičių Kalvarija in Lithuania, 2006
Chapels at the Sacro Monte di Oropa
The Conception of Mary at the Sacro Monte di Oropa

A calvary, also called calvary hill, Sacred Mount, or Sacred Mountain, is a type of Christian sacred place, built on the slopes of a hill, composed by a set of chapels, usually laid out in the form of a pilgrims' way. It is intended to represent the passion of Jesus Christ and its name after the Calvary, the hill in Jerusalem where, according to tradition, Jesus was crucified.

Sacro Monte di Domodossola
Calvary hill in Maria Lanzendorf (1700)

These function as greatly expanded versions of the Stations of the Cross that are usual in Catholic churches, allowing the devout to follow the progress of the stages of the Passion of Christ along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. Each chapel contains a large image of the scene from the Passion it commemorates, sometimes in sculpture, that may be up to life-size. This kind of shrine was especially popular in the Baroque period when the Holy Land was under Turkish rule and it was difficult to make a pilgrimage to the Mount Calvary in Jerusalem.

Calvaries were especially popular with the Franciscan and Jesuit orders, and are most common in Italy and Habsburg Central Europe. They were usually placed in parks near a church or a monastery, typically on a hill which the visitor gradually ascends. Italian ones are usually called a sacro monte ("holy mountain" or "hill"); there are a group of nine Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy that are especially notable; their dates of foundation vary between 1486 and 1712. Devotions would be most popular in Passion Week, before Easter, when large processions around the stations would be held, and mystery plays might be acted. If a calvary was established in an inhabited place, it might result in a location of a new village or town. Several villages and towns are named after such a complex.[citation needed]

Terminology[edit]

The Mount of Calvary was the site outside the gates of Jerusalem where the crucifixion of Christ took place. The scene was replicated around the world in numerous "calvary hills" after the Counter-Reformation and they are used by Roman Catholics in particular as part of their worship and veneration of God.

The term is derived from the Latin translation in the Vulgate of the Aramaic name for original hill, Golgotha, where it was called calvariae locus, Latin for "the place of the skull".[1][2] Martin Luther translated Golgatha as "skull place" (Scheddelstet). This translation is debated; at the very least it is not clear whether it referred to the shape of the hill, its use as a place of execution or burial or refers to something else.[3]

"Calvary hill" today refers to a roughly life-size depiction of the scene of crucifixion with crucifixes, usually the cross of Jesus and the two criminals, but many are more elaborate, including sculptures of additional figures. These scenes of the crucifixion are set up on small hillocks, which may be natural or artificial. Often 14 or so stations of the cross are laid out on the way up to the pilgrimage hill and there is often a small, remote church or chapel located between a few dozen to several hundred metres away.

Calvary hills are also a symbol of Brittany, where they were built during the Breton Renaissance (between 1450 and the 17th century) especially in the Finistère in specially created parish closes.[4] Of great importance was the erection of calvary hills north of the Alps in the Baroque era during the Counter-Reformation.

Calvaries in the world[edit]

Austria[edit]

Burgenland[edit]

Carinthia[edit]

Lower Austria[edit]

Upper Austria[edit]

Salzburg[edit]

Styria[edit]

Tyrol[edit]

  • Calvary Hill Chapel, Arzl, in the Innsbruck quarter of Arzl
  • in Kufstein
  • Calvary Hill, Thaur

Vienna[edit]

Belarus[edit]

  • in Miadziel (a small town north of Minsk (Мядзел))
  • in Minsk (Мінск)

Belgium[edit]

Bolivia[edit]

Canada[edit]

Croatia[edit]

Czech Republic[edit]

Ethiopia[edit]

France[edit]

The French: Calvaire of Notre Dame de Tronoën in Saint-Jean-Trolimon (greater French: Calvaire) dates to 1450 and is one of the oldest in Brittany. Other famous locations in Brittany are:[4]

Germany[edit]

(in alphabetical order by place)

Greece[edit]

Hungary[edit]

Italy[edit]

Lithuania[edit]

Poland[edit]

Romania[edit]

Slovakia[edit]

Slovenia[edit]

Spain[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "translation of calvariae by Whitaker's Words". Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  2. ^ Bibliotheca Augustana: Hieronimi Vulgata, Evangelium Secondum Lucam, 23:33
  3. ^ "Mount Calvary" article in the Catholic Encyclopedia (English)
  4. ^ a b Bretagne, stonecross.de;
    Pfarrbezirke, bretagne-tip.de
  5. ^ Kalvarienberg neben Kartause Aggsbach, Wachau / Österreich
  6. ^ Kalvarienberg in Leoben, Steiermark/Österreich
  7. ^ The stations of the cross on the calvary hill in Moresnet / Belgien
  8. ^ Kalvarienberg auf panoramio.com

Literature[edit]

German:

  • (in German) Atlas der europäischen Heiligen Berge, Kalvarienberge und Devotionsstätten, Turin: Direktion für Tourismus, Sport und Gärten der Region Piemont, 2003 
  • Walter Brunner (1990) (in German), Steirische Kalvarienberge, Graz etc.: Schnider, ISBN 3-900993-02-5 
  • Elisabeth Roth (1967) (in German), Der volkreiche Kalvarienberg in Literatur und Bildkunst des Spätmittelalters (2nd edition ed.), Berlin: Erich Schmidt 
  • Louise-Marie Tillet (1989) (in German), Reisewege durch die Bretagne. Calvaires und romanische Kirchen, Würzburg: Echter Verlag, ISBN 3-429-01186-8 
  • Kath. Pfarramt; Maria Himmelfahrt; Johannes Port (1989) (in German), Der Kalvarienberg zu Wettenhausen. Gebete und Geschichte einer altehrwürdigen Wallfahrtsstätte, Kammeltal: s. n. 

French:

  • Yves-Pascal Castel (1997) (in French), Croix et calvaires en Bretagne. = Kroaziou ha kalvarihou or bro, Trelevenez: Minihi levenez, ISBN 2-908230-09-7 
  • Marc Déceneux (2001) (in French), La Bretagne des enclos et des calvaires, Rennes: Ouest-France, ISBN 2-7373-2261-8 
  • Yannick Pelletier (1996) (in French), Les enclos Paroissiaux de Bretagne, Paris: Gisserot 

External links[edit]