The Oratory of the Gabbio
An oratory on the river’s banks
The Oratory of the Gabbio is a lovely eighteenth-century building on the hilltop of Melezzo river in front of Malesco, born on the ruins of a previous chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
The site called Gabbio (gravelly river’s bank), is today sculpted on the apsidal side by the state road far from the houses since it was originally a lazaret, arose during the repeated plagues of the ‘500 and’ 600, that dvasteted the Valle Vigezzo population.
It was built starting from 1723 and completed four years later. The porch was added in 1737.
Inside, besides the Madonna delle Grazie in the apse, you can appreciate the frescoes by the painter Giuseppe Mattia Borgnis (born in Craveggia) and the stucco decorations of the valsesian artist Antonio Tamiotti. The proximity of this little church to the bank of the river, compromised its stability several times during the severe floods of the last century,that cut off the shore by moving the riverbed closer to the façade.
The constructive affinity to the oratory of St. Bernardino in the town of Malesco is remarkable, including the north – south orientation of the nave.
The religious anniversary of Our Lady of Grace takes place on the last Sunday of September and the oratory become again, for two days, the devotional center of the entire community.