Main façade and entrance

Main façade

Located inside a large enclosed space, the basilica has a modern façade decorated with bas-relief and inscriptions which summarise the story of the Mystery of the Incarnation, works by the Italian sculptor Angelo Biancini.

The white stone façade is slightly concave and separated by horizontal stretches of pink stone decorated with the four elements of the world that, according to ancient cosmography, Christ would have had to cross to be incarnated: fire, air, water and earth. Three window series, made up of smaller windows arranged in a pyramid, give a vertical slant to the solid façade.

Looking up, there are two bas-relief depictions with Mary and angel Gabriel on the moment of the Annunciation, with the Latin phrase "Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ" at its base.

In the section below the four evangelists are symbolically represented: Matthew as a winged man, Mark as a lion, Luke as an ox and John with the image of an eagle. At the sides, a few inscriptions in Latin refer to the prophecies of Christ and Mary in the Old Testament: on the left, the passage of Genesis «Ait Dominus ad serpentem. Ipsa conteret caput tuum et tu insidiaberis calcaneo eius» (Gen 3,14-15) and on the right that of Isaiah «Ecce Virgo concipiet et pariet filium et vocabitur nomen eius Emmanuel» (Is 7, 14b).

The hymn of John «Verbum Caro factum est et habitavit in nobis» (Gv 1,14) appears above the three entry doors.

The façade is flanked by two octagonal towers. On the top of the tympanum the three-metre high bronze statue of "Christ Blessing" can be seen: the whole façade, including the famous Son of God «made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons» (Gal 4,4-5).

On the architrave of the central door there is an engraving of the monogram of Christ, the ancient Christian symbol that can also be found in Byzantine mosaics inside the lower church. The embossed bronze and copper shutters of the doors, created by the German sculptor Roland Friedrichsen, represent the life of Christ from his birth to his death on the cross.

Main façade and entrance