Turin Cathedral

Turin, Italy

Turin Cathedral (Duomo di Torino) is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and is the seat of the Archbishops of Turin.

It was built during 1491–1498, adjacent to a bell tower which had been built in 1470. Designed by Guarino Guarini, the Chapel of the Holy Shroud (the current location of the Shroud of Turin) was added to the structure in 1668–1694.

The church lies where the theatre of the ancient Roman city was located. Later, the site was developed with the construction of a complex of original three Christian churches, dedicated to the Holy Saviour, Saint Mary of Dompno (Santa Maria de Dompno) and (the largest one) to St. John the Baptist. According to some sources, the consecration of the main church was carried on by Agilulf, the Lombard King of northern Italy from 591 to 613. In 662, Garibald, Duke of Turin was assassinated in the church by a follower of Godepert, whose murder Garibald is believed to have had a part in.

The first three churches were demolished between 1490 and 1492. The construction of the new cathedral, still dedicated to St. John the Baptist, began in 1491. Amedeo de Francisco di Settignano, also known as Meo del Caprino, designed it and completed the construction in seven years. The pre-existing bell tower, was preserved. Filippo Juvarra modified the tower in the 17th century. Pope Leo X officially confirmed the church as metropolitan see in 1515.

In 1649 Bernardino Quadri prepared a project to enlarge the cathedral, to create a more impressive seat for the Holy Shroud. Quadri had moved from Rome to join the court of Duke Charles Emmanuel II of Savoy in Turin. His design was based on an earlier project by Carlo di Castellamonte: it included building an oval chapel behind the choir. In 1667 Guarino Guarini was invited to complete the project. The construction of the dome took 28 years: it was completed in 1694 under the direction of Marie Jeanne of Savoy, Charles Emmanuel II's widow.

The cathedral is the burial place of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901–1925), Turin native, avid athlete, and benefactor of the poor, called the 'saint for youth of the Third Millennium.' He was beatified by John Paul II in 1990.

While the chapel of the Holy Shroud behind the cathedral was undergoing renovation during 2009, the Shroud was kept in a small chapel within the cathedral.

Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin is a length of linen cloth bearing the negative image of a man. Some describe the image as depicting Jesus of Nazareth and believe the fabric is the burial shroud in which he was wrapped after crucifixion.

First mentioned in 1354, the shroud was denounced in 1389 by the local bishop of Troyes as a fake. Currently the Catholic Church neither formally endorses nor rejects the shroud, and in 2013 Pope Francis referred to it as an "icon of a man scourged and crucified". The shroud has been kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Turin since 1578.



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Via XX Settembre, Turin, Italy
See all sites in Turin


Founded: 1491-1498
Category: Religious sites in Italy


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Hazze HG (4 months ago)
Worst cathedral I've seen, like it's all white It is sure that it highlights the organ and other sculpted elements but the walls and the ceiling It's bland :/
Matheus (6 months ago)
It is a really nice cathedral with a window that connects to the royal palace. Super impressive.
Ofek Shaked (12 months ago)
It's a very beautiful cathedral in Torino very important and historical it is very beautiful on the inside although not as big as other cathedrals in Italy but it is very impressive and worth a visit if you are around
Ted Oatway (14 months ago)
With the historical importance of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist and the Shroud of Turin I expected to be a little more impressed but not so. Yes, you need to visit the cathedral but lower your expectations a little. Currently the Shroud is not on display which would be the main reason to visit this cathedral.
Georges Younes (16 months ago)
Known mostly for the shroud of Turin, which is most likely not going to be on exhibit when you visit, the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist is an essential stop on any visit to Turin. The building is beautiful inside out. There are many icons and paintings that will make your visit one to remember.
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