The easternmost peaks of the Alps have been the natural border between the Latin, German and Slav worlds since time immemorial. Today, in a time of peace, they still speak the languages of these peoples and their valleys are places of friendship and cooperation.
Attracting pilgrims from three lands, the shrine of Monte Lussari, in the northeastern corner of Italy, is truly European and a symbol of this peaceful coexistence. According to ancient folklore, the sanctuary has its origins in 1360 following a series of miraculous events: a shepherd found sheep from his flock kneeling around a bush. With amazement, he realised that a statuette of the Virgin and Child was at the centre of the bush. The shepherd gave it to the priest of Camporosso, but the following morning, the statue was found on Lussari with the kneeling sheep surrounding it again. The event repeated itself a third time. Having been informed, the Patriarch of Aquileia ordered that a chapel be built on the spot.
There is no trace left of the original chapel; the current building is the result of the restoration and extension of a 16th Century building. The sanctuary is accessible by foot via the picturesque Sentiero del Pellegrino (Pilgrim’s Path) that winds through the forest of Tarvisio, or with the cable car from Camporosso.References:
Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, located near Inverurie, is one of the best-preserved examples of a recumbent stone circle, and one of the few that still have their full complement of stones. It consists of a ring of nine stones, eight of which are grey granite and one red jasper. Two more grey granite stones flank a recumbent of red granite flecked with crystals and lines of quartz. The circle is particularly notable for its builders' use of polychromy in the stones, with the reddish ones situated on the SSW side and the grey ones opposite.
The placename Aquhorthies derives from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning 'field of prayer', and may indicate a 'long continuity of sanctity' between the Stone or Bronze Age circle builders and their much later Gaelic successors millennia later. The circle's surroundings were landscaped in the late 19th century, and it sits within a small fenced and walled enclosure. A stone dyke, known as a roundel, was built around the circle some time between 1847 and 1866–7.