Collegiate Church of Santa Maria della Scala

Chieri, Italy

The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria della Scala in Chieri is a late-Gothic Roman Catholic collegiate church, and the principal church or duomo.

An ancient church on the site was erected by Bishop Landolfo of Turin in the 11th century, putatively on the site of a temple to Minerva. The present church was rebuilt in the first decade of the 15th century, initially under the patronage of the Balbi and Bertoni families. The façade has buttresses and a tall stone portal sculpted with Romanesque motifs. The interior has three naves.

The Chapel of the Blessed Virgin of the Graces (Beata Vergine della Grazie) was designed (1757) by Bernardo Vittone in order to house a venerated statue of the titular image of the Virgin (1637) by Botto. The other chapels include the Turinetti, decorated with stucco, as well as the chapels of the Crucifix and the Corpus Domini (Eucharist), which hold 17th-century canvases. In the southern nave is a canvas depicting the Resurrection of Christ by Francesco Fea and a fresco depicting the Adoration by the Magi in the Chapel of the Tabussi.

In the south transept is a Renaissance tabernacle attributed to Matteo Sanmicheli that houses an altarpiece depicting Saints Anthony Abbot and Sebastian, painted by Guglielmo Caccia. The north transept has an altarpiece depicting the Trinity by Giovanni Crosio. Behind the main altar are carved 15th-century wooden choir stalls. At the base of the bell tower, in the Gallieri Chapel, are a series of 13th-century frescoes depicting the life of John the Baptist, which were restored in the 20th century.

The sacristy contains Renaissance furniture and a 17th-century altarpiece of the Resurrection. The adjacent baptistry has the Tana Polyptych (1503) and 15th-century frescoes depicting the Passion of Christ by Guglielmo Fantini.



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Piazza Duomo 1, Chieri, Italy
See all sites in Chieri


Founded: 15th century
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Laura Corrado (6 months ago)
The only thing that left me perplexed is that the celebrant invited the faithful to exchange the sign of peace with a handshake, while in Turin they still greet each other with a nod since Covid began.
Stefano Cerri (11 months ago)
Very interesting and rich fourteenth-fifteenth-century cathedral, but the lighting is nothing short of obscene: the naves are always dark, the ceiling decorated in blue is not valued as it should. It would be enough to place, instead of those squalid lamps that point downwards, blinding, to direct the headlights upwards, illuminating the vaults to day, and we could admire a masterpiece.
Stefano Masnaghetti (2 years ago)
Together with that of Asti, it is the most important Gothic cathedral in Piedmont. Actually the current one is not the original building: it is in fact a reconstruction, which took place between 1405 and 1436, of the 11th century Romanesque cathedral erected at the behest of Landolfo, bishop of Turin (the crypt of this building survives , placed under the high altar). What characterizes it more than any other element is the very precious gable that crowns the main portal: it is a very rare testimony of French Gothic transplanted to Italian soil (the decorations with plant motifs are typical of transalpine art). In addition to streamlining the structure it also serves as a chromatic contrast: the white stone with which it is built stands out against the red of the brick masonry of the rest of the church. From the inside with three naves, full of side chapels and remodeled several times (passing from the Baroque to the Neo-Gothic), you can access the wonderful octagonal baptistery, originally erected in the 11th century in Romanesque style and subsequently raised during the construction of the new cathedral. Gothic. The drum band is decorated with stupendous fifteenth-century frescoes, while an apse niche houses an early sixteenth-century altarpiece. Also worth seeing is the Franco-Flemish statue of the Madonna del Melograno from the early 15th century, once placed in the lunette of the main portal of the church and now replaced by a copy.
Donatella “Dahita” (2 years ago)
The cathedral of Chieri, my city. Beautiful and for me full of memories, but honestly a bit neglected and dark, dusty. The walls are covered with plasters of the past centuries, which cover the original Gothic bricks: it would deserve to discover them, but I imagine the huge costs. In any case, the devotion of us Chieresi for the Madonna delle Grazie who saved us from the plague is independent of the church that hosts it !! Do not miss the Baptistery, frescoed and simple in its authentic medieval beauty.
Steo Vindrola (4 years ago)
Very nice
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