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The Basilica of San Giulio

What to see in Orta San Giulio, Novara, Piedmont

The Basilica of San Giulio is one hundredth and last church founded by San Giulio, originating in the island of Aegina in Greece, who with his brother Giuliano devoted the last years of his life to the evangelization of the Lake of Orta. According to the legend, around 390 the holy reached the island sailing on its skirt and the liberated from dragons (symbolic image of the defeat of paganism) building a small church dedicated to the twelve apostles. The facade of the church is visible sailing on the lake or from piazzale closed on which it looks, and which today is part of the monastery of the Benedictine nuns; it preserves a Romanesque aspect despite the changes of the seventeenth-century that led to the building of a pronaos surmounted by a large window serliana. The entrance for visitors of the basilica is located on the southern side of the church, almost entirely hidden from the ancient Palazzo Vescovile (now the convent of the Nuns); you can arrive from the imbarcadero experiencing a renaissance portal and traveling along a stairway covered sailing. The Romanesque bell tower rises in a position detached from the church, close to the apses; is internally divided in six floors lightened in the two highest floors from presence, respectively of a double mullioned window and a three-mullioned window. Inside it is very interesting the Romanesque ambo, built in serpentine gray-dark green (which is in contact with the air assumes a color similar to the bronze) coming from the nearby quarries of Oira, that goes back to the beginning of the XII century. It has a square plan with four columns supporting the parapet which, in turn, rests on a base adorned with sheets of acanthus. The four columns are different between them, two have smooth drum, the others are decorated in relief with reasons to weave; remarkable are the capitals on folios (or with folios and heads of animals). The parapet, a mixtilinear shape, has on each of three sides two rectilinear parts and a curve, which make the suggestive iconographic reading of the slabs carved of which it is composed.

  • Religious location

Orta San Giulio

Orta San Giulio

Travel proposals

from 280.00 €
Exciting evening cruise, sailing the romantic waters of one of Italy's most typical lakes, Lake Orta.
Interested villages: Orta San Giulio

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= distances as the crow flies
= distances as the crow flies
= distances as the crow flies


january, 2025

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