Risen to house the Congregation of the “Vergine dei Sette Dolori” in Sorrento, the magnificent Sorrento church was built in the first half of the 18th century. Wonderful example of baroque architecture, the Sorrento holy building has a troubled history. It was opened again to the public after 30 years.
At the end of its renovation works, begun soon after the earthquake which in 1980 brought damages all over Campania, the Church of Addolorata of Sorrento, also known as church of “Sette Dolori” of Sorrento because, in the past, it housed the homonymous Congregation of the “Vergine dei Sette Dolori”, finally opened back again.
Though it is situated right in the old town centre of Sorrento, (along via San Cesareo), it goes back to the beginning of the 18th century and so it is among the most “modern” churches in Sorrento.
Its construction was due to the nobles from Sorrento who, actually wanted a seat of their own for the rising Congregation (almost in contrast with other similar institutions which were as noble and famous as them).
The patricians of Tasso’s town, in order to allow the construction of this wonderful baroque church, didn’t have any hesitations in buying a garden and in financing the work “with personal offers and without asking anything to others”).
The church was actually ended on September 23rd 1739.
The history of the Church of the “Vergine dei Sette Dolori” and of the Congregation it housed, anyway, was doomed to be “troubled”.
After hard polemics which had previously brought the Congregation itself to be housed in various important churches and chapels of the old town centre (such as the Chapel of San Giovanni a Dominova, the Chapel of S. Sebastiano and the Church of San Catello, which housed also the Archconfraternity of the “Morte ed Orazione” of Sorrento), on October 8th 1844, a lightning broke the roof of the holy building and caused the falling down of the bell tower.
Few years later – in 1860 – there was a real final blow.
With the disappearance of the Reign of the two Sicilies, in fact, the brothers - almost all of whom legitimists linked to the Bourbons – underwent persecutions and vexations which caused, among other things, the dissolution of the congregation and the closing of the church in 1867.
Since that year, the congregates were housed in the Congregation of “Servi di Maria” of Sorrento, later joined to the Archconfraternity of the “Morte ed Orazione” of Sorrento.
Deconsecrated in 1868, the church was opened back again to the cult after over seventy years by Archbishop Paolo Jacuzio.
After alternate episodes, finally, the terrible earthquake of 1980 caused remarkable damages.
After nearly a thirty years’ waiting, in 2007, there was the reopening of the building, still deconsecrated, to the public.
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