The holy shrine at the centre of the Basilica (sacellum) is a church within the church. It is a small building from 9th Century covered with marbles, bronzes and various decorations.
The Shrine holds the statue of the Black Madonna, made of Pinus Cembra or Swiss pinewood, the work of a 13th century woodcarver native of Valle d’Aosta.
According to the tradition the statue was brought to Oropa in the 4th century by Saint Eusebius, who is said to have hidden the statue amongst the rocks
The holy shrine is decorated by interesting frescoes that date back to the beginning of 14th Century. On the walls there is a depiction of saints and of episodes from the Virgin Mary's life
The Annunciation of Mary
Saint Michael and Saint Stephen
The Nativity of Jesus
Our Lady of milk
On the dome of the Sacellum, besides the depictions of Saints, is represented the Coronation of Virgin Mary
Our Lady nursing
Paul of Thebes and Anthony the Great