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

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Alicudi/Wikimedia Commons

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 symbolize 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.

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Alicudi/Wikimedia Commons

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.

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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.