Italy’s most hidden church is in the middle of a cave


The Temple of Valadier, or Il Tempio del Valadier, is a perfectly octagonal church built inside a cave in Italy. It was commissioned by Pope Leo XII in the 19th century.

The church has a domed roof and eight sides that are meant to symbolise Jesus’ resurrection “after eight days.” Today, it’s known as the “Refuge of Sinners” and has long been a site of pilgrimage for Catholics seeking forgiveness.


Built in 1828 by architect Giuseppe Valadier, the elegant, neoclassical church stands in stark contrast to the rugged walls of the surrounding cave. 

Visitors face a pretty steep climb up a mountain near the Italian town of Genga. 

Visiting the church is a popular day trip, as it’s a mix of history, culture, and natural wonder.

The panoramic views from the church’s front door don’t hurt either.

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