San Bernardino Church

Ivrea, Italy

San Bernardino is a Roman Catholic church and convent located on Via Monte Navale in the town of Ivrea. The convent was built between 1455 and 1465 and dedicated to San Bernardino da Siena, who reputedly preached in Ivrea in 1418. The church was completed by 1457. In 1465, the original arches of the Gothic façade was enveloped by new construction, and two of the arches became part of new chapels. By the beginning of the 19th century, the convent had been requisitioned by occupying troops and by 1805, the property was deconsecrated and in 1907 made by engineer Camillo Olivetti into a residence. Between 1955 and 1958, major reconstruction modified the appearance of the convent, to house the headquarters of the social services of the Olivetti company: but restoration work was performed on the church.

The church wall houses the Renaissance fresco cycle of the Life and Passion of Christ (1480–1490) by Giovanni Martino Spanzotti. The work consists of twenty scenes placed around the large panel of the Crucifixion; with central spandrels depicting the Last Judgment and Hell. The pilasters have images of St Bernardino of Siena and Christ as 'Imago Pietatis', and two lateral spandrels depict the Expulsion from Paradise and Purgatory. The frescoes in back of the lateral chapels are attributed to Nicolas Robert, court painter of Amedeo IX of Savoy.



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Via Monte Navale 1, Ivrea, Italy
See all sites in Ivrea


Founded: 1455-1465
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

jean mau (2 years ago)
The church is within the closed perimeter of the old Olivetti factories. Closed: by security fences as one would do to prevent access to toxic waste! Camera, portal with codes, etc. So it's a no-go place. Private. Under these conditions, I do not see why UNESCO recognized this prohibited site. Moreover, in Ivrea, at the information stand of the Via Francigena, no one is able to give the slightest information on this jewel of the 14th century. A peak! In the good old days, the big industrialists had the honor of financing churches accessible to the people. We are far from it today... Avoid, therefore, this jewel that has become a thing… One more point: it is impossible to find information on an exceptional visit, or during heritage days, etc. Here too, the culture department of the city of Ivrea does not care about the world.
Giovanni Bagni (3 years ago)
The low review is not for the church, which Everyone confirms to be worth visiting for the beautiful frescoes, but rather because on a normal Saturday afternoon visiting Ivrea, it cannot be visited. There are no timetables displayed. There is only a sign indicating that the area where the church stands is held by former Olivetti volunteers. Can't find a way to keep it open and open for everyone to visit?
Ele Padu (5 years ago)
One of the most beautiful works. Preserve very well
Lisa Briggs (5 years ago)
Very unique part of history. We're very glad we stopped here.
flora allais (5 years ago)
Deconsecrated Church, Bellissima, important its history, also very interesting, managed by volunteers former Olivetti employees.
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