Built in the late sixteenth century, the sanctuary is the town’s most representative monument, the site of an ancient cult and a pilgrimage destination. The façade with a portal of pointed arches and rose window and its neo-Gothic interior are manifestations of the latest refurbishment works which took place in the early twentieth century.
Of great decorative effect are the monumental stairway and the floor of the forecourt paved with characteristic stone pebbles. The apse of the church houses a large marble gallery, adorned with statues in marble and wood, the most lavish plastic-architectural furnishing in the Trapani area.
In the centre stands the venerated poplar panel of the “Madonna lactans” (XVI century ), the so-called ‘Our Lady of Custonaci’. There are many legends related to the cult of Virgin Mary, and customs such as the “transportation” of the altarpiece to nearby Erice from 1568 until 1936, which was also done to invoke rain in times of drought.
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