Friends of Muggia Vecchia tell us their secrets
Muggia was established on top of the hill and today one can visit the ancient Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, admire its frescoes, and stroll through the Archaeological Park. Thanks to the Friends of Muggia Vecchia Association, this area is valorized while tours and workshops are organized to promote the territory.
Who are the Friends of Muggia Vecchia?
In 2013, a group of Muggia citizens started collaborating with the Parish of Muggia Vecchia to support religious activities and the maintenance of the Basilica and the surrounding site. Consequently, an independent Association was formed, composed of believers and non-believers who operate with the Parish to protect and valorize the sanctuary and the park, from the religious, historical, archaeological, cultural and environmental point of view including the landscape, tourism and social events.
Their mission besides the devotion to the Madonna of Muggia Vecchia, is the love for the Basilica and the site where Muggia, its history and its culture are deeply rooted, and the desire to counter the negligence of the archaeological site for several years.
The basilica and its frescoes
The hill of Muggia Vecchia, with its panoramic view that sweeps from the sea coast to the hinterland, rises to a height of 170 meters above sea level. At the top there is a broad expanse of level ground bounded by steep slopes on three sides. Inhabited since the protohistoric period, when the high ground was terraced and enclosed by the great walls of the hill-fort, it then became a settlement in Roman times, and a flourishing town in the Middle Ages. The Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption has been the heart and soul of the hill since the Dark Ages, and is the only building to have survived almost intact over the centuries.
The first testimony of the church dedicated to the Madonna dates back to 1203, but its origins are much older. As soon as you enter the Basilica the colors of the frescoes and the stories they narrate conquer visitors as far back as the 13th century. At that time people living in the countryside were mostly illiterate, but they knew the stories told in the Holy Scriptures and the lives of the saints; the frescoes narrated these stories to keep them alive in the memory of the inhabitants and to help them apply the principles of religion in their lives.
Projects for the future
Besides the activities to make the basilica popular with its magnificent frescoes, it is worth mentioning those relating to the area of the Muggia Vecchia Park among the projects for the future. This park stands out for the local vegetation such as the downy oaks,Z but its management is essential to make the most of the beauty of this place overlooking the Gulf of Trieste and the agricultural and woodland landscape of neighboring Slovenia.
The mission of the parish priest don Andrea Destradi and the Friends of Muggia Vecchia is that of managing the area pursuant to the current protection obligations related to hydrological-forests, archaeology and the landscape. We want the park to bear witness to the present and future generations of the history it represents. Our goal is therefore, to promote the maintenance of the forest and the green areas adjacent to the church within the framework of an overall view in compliance with current regulations.