Aosta Cathedral Treasury Museum
Diocesi di Aosta
Piazza Papa Giovanni XXIII, Aosta Valle d'Aosta, Italia
The Cathedral’s Treasury Museum, opened to the public in 1984, is located in the ambulatory and the nearby chapel of the relics. It preserves and exhibits masterpieces of ancient art, including the precious AD 406 ivory diptych depicting the Emperor Honorius, Romanesque architectural elements, two 12th-century stained glass tondi, precious ornaments (including reliquaries, processional crosses, ceremonial maces and sacred vessels), funerary monuments of famous Valle d’Aostanobles and clergy, paintings, and sumptuous vestments. The collection is enriched by several wood carvings and items of devotional furnishing from other parishes in the diocese.
The original nucleus of the treasure on display in the museum is formed by the group of reliquaries intended to house the remains of local saints. In Valle d’Aosta there is an important cult of Saint Gratus, Bishop of Aosta in the 5th century and patron of the diocese. The deep devotion is seen in the important goldsmithing works for safekeeping and displaying his relics. These include the 13th-century arm reliquary, in silver sheet with cabochon crystals and enamelled plaques, a silver-sheet bust donated by Amadeus VIII in 1430, and the large chest of Saint Gratus that is still carried in procession through the town streets on 7 September each year. The construction of this great reliquary was begun by the Canavese goldsmith Guglielmo di Locana, and after his death in 1421 was continued by a Flemish artist, Jean de Malines, who finished the work in 1458.The cathedral’s other important relic, also linked to the patron, is the jaw of Saint John the Baptist, which Saint Gratus is said to have brought to Aosta. It is kept in a head reliquary donated to the Cathedral in 1421 by Francesco di Challant, a leading figure in the political and artistic history of Valle d’Aosta. Great veneration was also accorded to Saint Jucundus, who succeeded Gratus as Bishop of Aosta. His cult is linked to an arm reliquary from the second half of the 13th century, a 15th-century bust, and a large chasse reliquary similar in type and size to that of Saint Gratus, but produced in 1615 by the goldsmith Bernard Thomassin.
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- Cattedrale di Aosta
- type of building
- Musei ecclesiastici
- Piazza Papa Giovanni XXIII, Aosta Valle d'Aosta, Italia
- food venue
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