The Facade

The facade of the church is by Giuseppe Castellucci of Florence. It is in the Italian renaissance style with the central part projecting forward slightly, higher than the two side aisles. The whole structure is divided horizontally into two parts. In the lower part there are eight paired columns, resting on plinths.

The entrance door has two columns, which support decorated panels. Above the door, there is a semi-circular lunette in mosaic, depicting the two reformers of the Carmelite Order, St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross that support the coat of arms of the Order.

In the background on the left you can see Mount Carmel, with the monastery on the summit. On the right is the Bay of Arenzano with a ship and a snailing boat, with the Shrine clearly visible. Below the mosaic are the words from the Liturgy, “SIT NOMEN DOMINI BENEDICTUM” (May the Name of the Lord be Blessed).

On either side there are niches with bronze statues of Our Lady, “LUMINE  PLENA” (full of grace ) and St. Joseph “vir justus” (the just man). These are the works of sculpture Guido Galletti. Above the niches there are six coats-of -arms on panels of red marble.

They belong to (from left to right) the arms of Pope Pius XI; the Chapter of the Vatican Basilica and the City of Prague, Card Merry del Val, Basilica of Arenzano and city of Arenzano. Below each shield there is a quotation from the Bible.

The upper area of the facade has a classical triangular apex.  At the center of the mosaic you can see the Infant Jesus with the arms of the Carmelite Order. To the left, a friar invites us to turn to the Infant Jesus. To the right, Pius XI sends Cardinal Merry del Val to Arenzano, to crown the statue of the Infant Jesus. In the center of the facade there is a grand rose window, on stained glass. It is seen to better effect from inside, with the light streaming through.

Square

Through two monumental staircases in travertine, or conveniently from the upper parking lot, you can reach the large churchyard from which you can admire the Renaissance style façade and the two adjoining cloisters which together form a splendid scenography. Some benches, protected by trees, allow a pause for refreshment and contemplation.

On the left side of the square stands a white column of travertine, which holds a statue, in gold-plated bronze, of the Infant Jesus: it recalls the place where the statue was crowned (1937), which is venerated in the Shrine. The column was located on one of the three large marble stars that adorn the square in porphyry and that constitute an ideal large coat of arms of Carmel, joined to the access ramps and the cross shape of the same plant of the Shrine.

The reception »