Gran Madre di Dio

Turin, Italy

The church of Gran Madre di Dio is a Neoclassic-style church located on the western bank of the Po River, facing the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele I leading into Piazza Vittorio Veneto.

The church was conceived in 1814, after the defeat of Napoleon, to celebrate the return to the throne of King Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia from the Savoia family, after a 16 years long exile. The municipality immediately suggests to celebrate this return with the building of a monument. The necessity to plan out the spaces, which were recently employed by the fortification and the idea to build a votive temple, have to be seen as a unitary project. Actually, the church has to be the ending to the lengthy vista, which links the Castello Square to the hill. Together with the planning of this Church, a square for the latter also needs to be implanted in the project, which would be a sort of lengthening of the already existing Vittorio Square on the other side of the river. The architect was Ferdinando Bonsignore, whose project was chosen following a competition. Construction began in 1818, only to pause for nearly a decade, and restart in 1827, under the rule of Charles Felix of Sardinia. The church was inaugurated in 1831 under Charles Albert of Sardinia.

Others who contributed to the construction were Giuseppe Formento and the engineer Virginio Bordino. The latter helped raise the columns on the façade. The architect Luigi Canina was consulted during construction. Flanking the entrance staircase, atop two high plinths, are two statues representing Faith (with calyx) and Religion by Carlo Chelli. The tympanum of the church states: ORDO POPVLVSQVE TAVRINVS OB ADVENTVM REGIS, which can be translated as: The Nobility and the Population of Turin for the Return of the King. The church architecture recalls the Pantheon in Rome.The link between the political event with the religious one comes through thanks to the classical metaphors to talk about the religious episodes with a back and forth between religious and political personalities. In front of the church is a statue of a King Vittorio Emanuele I, walking forward, holding a staff in his right arm, the base reads Vittorio Emanuele I/ Re di Sardegna/ Restituito a su Pepolo/il XX Maggio MDCCCXIV/ Ne Coronara/ la Fedeltà secolare.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1814
Category: Religious sites in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Simon Richards (8 months ago)
A calming, neo-classical interior. The exterior featured in The Italian Job.
Anthony M (8 months ago)
Quiet and lovely place. It's really great to have an experience in here. Actually it is located close the the villa Della Regina. You can search on Google map about the place that I have mentioned. All in all about the church I would say the interior design is amazing and really clean. I would definitely recommend you to visit grand madre church which is great. You gonna have a good experience when you are in.
Pezhman Rajabimehr (11 months ago)
Quiet and lovely place. It's really great to have an experience in here. Actually it is located close the the villa Della Regina. You can search on Google map about the place that I have mentioned. All in all about the church I would say the interior design is amazing and really clean. I would definitely recommend you to visit grand madre church which is great. You gonna have a good experience when you are in.
sumitava roy (11 months ago)
Nice place to visit in Turin.situated near the river.. you can have the river view and turin landscape from here. The front steps are good place to hangout
Fabio Da Roit (14 months ago)
Built between 1818 and 1831 inspired by the Pantheon in Rome to celebrate the end of Napoleonic rule and the return to Turin of King Vittorio Emanuele I of Savoy, it is one of the most characteristic churches in the city. In front of it the statue of the king; on the sides of the access stairway there are two statues: the one on the left represents "the faith" and the one on the right "the religion".
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mingarry Castle Ruins

Mingarry Castle was considered a strategically important site in terms of communication with overseas areas and as an entranceway to the Sound of Mull. Originally built in the 13th century for the Clan MacDonald of Ardnamurchan, the castle has had many different occupants. King James IV of Scotland used it as a stronghold for fighting off Clan Donald in the late 15th century. In 1515 the castle was besieged by the Clan MacDonald of Lochalsh and again two years later when they finally took the castle.

In 1588 the chief of the Clan MacLean of Duart resided there after capturing the chief of the Clan MacIan of Ardnamurchan. In 1588, one of the ships of the Spanish Armada, named the San Juan de Sicilia, landed on Mull and MacLean of Duart used troops from the ship to aid him in his warring against the MacDonalds of Clanranald and the MacIans of Ardnamurchan.