Basilica of Superga

Turin, Italy

The Basilica of Superga was built from 1717 to 1731 for Victor Amadeus II of Savoy, designed by Filippo Juvarra, at the top of the hill of Superga. This fulfilled a vow the duke (and future King of Sardinia) had made during the Battle of Turin, after defeating the besieging French army in the War of the Spanish Succession. The architect alluded to earlier styles while adding a baroque touch. The church contains the tombs of many princes and kings of the House of Savoy, including the Monument to Carlo Emanuele III (1733) by Ignazio Collino and his brother Filippo. Under the church are the tombs of the Savoy family, including most of its members, among them Charles Albert.

This church by Juvarra is considered late Baroque-Classicism. The dome was completed in 1726 and resembles some elements of Michelangelo's dome at St. Peter's Basilica. This is no coincidence as Juvarra studied and worked in Rome for ten years prior to working in Turin. The temple front protrudes from a dome structure citing the Pantheon. The temple front is larger than typical proportions because the Superga is set upon this hill. It is also believed that Victor Amadeus wanted the basilica to rest on this hill as reminder of the power of the Savoy family as well as continue a line of sight to the existing Castle of Rivoli. Later, the Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi completed the triangle between the three residences of Savoy.

The history of the church can be traced to 2 September 1706, when Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy and the Prince of Carignano, Eugene of Savoy climbed the hill to see Turin besieged by Franco-Spanish forces during the War of the Spanish Succession. Victor Amadeus, having knelt down in front of an old prop, swore that, in case of victory, he would have a monument built to our Lady (the Virgin Mary). From dawn until the early hours of the afternoon of 7 September the armies clashed in the fields at Jaya and Madonna di Campagna. Piedmontese armies achieved victory over the French. After Victor Amedeus was crowned King of Sicily he entrusted the design of this building to Filippo Juvarra.

Royal crypt

The Royal crypt is the traditional burial place of members of the House of Savoy, successively Dukes of Savoy, Kings of Sardinia and Kings of Italy. Two kings of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II and Umberto I, have been interred in the Pantheon, Rome. The earlier generations of the House of Savoy as well as the last king of Italy, Umberto II, are buried in Hautecombe Abbey, the ancestral burial site of the family in Savoy.



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Founded: 1717-1731
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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User Reviews

Hmmm Borg (2 years ago)
Incredible view of Turin. Unfortunately, the train that takes you up to the Basilica was not working the day we went (doesn't work on Wednesdays), but there was still a bus which brought us up. The basilica is free to visit, but you have to pay a small fee per person (I believe it was 7 euro) for the guided visit of the tombs. Note that the day we went, the tour of the bombs was only running from 11:30 to 12:30, so make sure you are there on time. You can buy tickets on-site. Note: There are toilets - for the men's bathroom it is on the floor, which was weird ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Jacob Cherian (2 years ago)
Beautiful bascilia in top of a hill with great views of Turin and all around. The church was closed by the time I got there, but the hike up in the evening was very nice. There are numerous trails accessible by tram from Turin.
Peter Schmidt (2 years ago)
Worth the trip. Number 15 tram out of Turin then the tram car up the hill. The tram car is brilliant and the views from the top of the Basilica are fantastic.
Joyce van Versendaal (2 years ago)
Beautiful from both the inside and the outside. Tour through the tombs also a strong recommendations, which is the resting place of most of the Savoy family.
Joanna Ang (2 years ago)
I walked from the city centre of Torino, and hiked the Parco Naturale Della Collina di Superga (route 27/28) to get to the Basilica di Superga (total walking/hiking distance: approximately 9km). It was a peaceful hike up to the beautiful basilica and you also get to enjoy the panoramic view of the city from way up there! There's a small bar at the funicular station if you wish to grab a small bite, or the Cheers bar too. Start early because it does get hot as the afternoon approaches!
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