Italy Turin Turin Cathedral

The Turin Cathedral, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is the only church in the city built in the Renaissance style. The current cathedral is located in one of the most significant area in Turin from the historical point of view, just few steps from the ancient Roman Theatre. This sacred area included three churches dedicated to San Salvatore, Santa Maria di Dompno and St. John the Baptist. The three churches were demolished between 1490 and 1492 and July 22, 1491 the regent of Savoy, widow of Charles I, Bianca di Monferrato, laid the foundation stone of the new cathedral, dedicated to St. John. The project was assigned to Amedeo de Francisco di Settignano, also called Meo del Caprino, and was terminated in 1505, seven years later. The facade is made with white marble with three doors of which the central one is surmounted by a pediment. On the left side there is the Romanesque bell tower, built around 1470 and further elevated in 1720 by Filippo Juvarra. King Carlo Alberto further enhanced the cathedral with a copy of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, made by Luigi Cagna in 1835 and anchored to the inner wall of the church, the only point that can hold over 900 pounds of the work. The cathedral houses the Holy Shroud. The precious monument that contains it was damaged by fire April 12, 1997, but the Holy Relic was brought to safety by firefighters and was left intact.