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The Superga Basilique: a charming votive baroque jewel

Wednesday 31 october 2018

The Superga Basilique of Turin, among the best masterpieces of Baroque architecture, the mausoleum of the House of Savoy and symbol of the Piedmontese victory over the French army that besieged the city. Turin is a city in the north-west of Italy.

The Superga Basilique: a charming votive baroque jewel

The Superga Basilique, located on a chain of green hills facing the Alps, dominates the city of Turin, and is dedicated to the cult of the Virgin Mary. Pope Pius XI defined the fascinating hill of Superga as the most beautifull Panorama in Europe. At the summit we can admire the alpine peaks, valleys and the brilliant streams under the sun.

The Duke of Savoy Vittorio Amedeo II, after observing the siege of Turin by the French army from the hill of Superga, expressed a vote: in case of victory the Piedmontese army would have raised a large Basilique on the site. The Piedmontese army won, and the construction works in 1717 were entrusted to the architect from Messina Filippo Juvarra, at the time known throughout Europe as a set designer: from the theatrical experience acquired all the perspective tricks and the play of light existing, characteristic of the Baroque taste.

Basilica di Superga
Photo di Rollopack

For his masterpiece, Juvarra chose a central plan and a deep colonnaded portico inspired by the Bernini's Pantheon, and the two towers on the side recall the Borromini's projects. Bernini and Borromini were both founders of Baroque art. The magnificent eight-columned portico introduces us to the interior of the Superga Basilique, where there is a mosaic marble paving, the Altar of the Annunciation and the Altar of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. There are also the Regal Tombs. The large dome of the Superga Basilique recalls the dome of Saint Peter's Square in Rome. The Basilique architecture includes teaching from master across the Alps. 

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