Diocesi di Pinerolo ( sec. X; XV; XIX )
Piazza del Duomo 1, Pinerolo Torino, Italia
The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Donatus, Bishop of Arezzo, mentioned at the end of the 10th century in the diploma issued by Otto III transferring the rights and properties of Pinerolo, including the church of San Donato, to the Bishop of Turin. On 14 March 1044, Marquis Henry of Montferrat and Countess Adelaide donated three manses also located in Pinerolo, to the church of San Donato. Bishop Cunibert of Turin issued a bull (1064) empowering the abbot of the newly-founded monastery of San Verano with spiritual authority for the churches of San Maurizio and San Donato.
At the beginning of the 15th century the original building, probably in Lombard Romanesque, was remodelled in Gothic style, probably at the behest of the powerful guild of wool merchants. In 1371 a portico set against the church façade was documented as being used for drawing up public deeds.
In 1748, with the institution of the Diocese of Pinerolo, the building became the cathedral. From 1766 to 1778 impressive renovations were undertaken to give the church a Baroque style, commissioned by the first bishop, Monsignor D’Orlié de St-Innocent. The marble high altar, dated 1781 and designed by Gerolamo Buniva, has Savoy heraldry to indicate the important contribution of Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia.
The building was fully restored during the 19th century by Melchiorre Pulciano, applying criteria of the time, which provided for very extensive restorations and redecoration. Restorations began in 1885 and lasted for over two decades, under the supervision of Pinerolo engineer Stefano Cambiano, who wanted to recover the building’s original Gothic structure. Three chapels and a side entrance were built into the outer walls on the north side, while the chapels on the south side date from 1904.The new façade (the previous frontage had detached from the body of the church following the 1808 earthquake) was started in 1886 and completed in 1887, with a high gable and terracotta decorations inspired by those of the medieval buildings in the town.
The pictorial decoration of the interior, depicting Old and New Testaments stories, and images of saints on each column, were commissioned during the episcopate of Monsignor Chiesa from the painters Giuseppe Rollini and Alessandro Vacca, who worked from 1887 to 1892; there are also paintings by Enrico Reffo and Edoardo Calosso.
Of particular importance, on the first column of the right aisle, is a fragment of a 15th-century fresco depicting the Blessed Peter of Luxembourg. In 2001 work was undertaken to refurbish the chancel, with altar, ambo and cathedra in Asiago pink marble, by Mario Rudelli. Building began on the belfry in 1420, but was never finished.
A positive organ from Collegno Castle was recently installed in the right aisle and loaned for cathedral use by the Guidoboni Cavalchini family. The instrument, dating from the first half of the 18th century, is by an anonymous maker although there are suggestions that it is by Giuseppe Calandra).
Refurbishment of Pinerolo Cathedral chancel began while Monsignor Santo Quadri was bishop. Initially a temporary modification was made to the altar, turned to face the congregation, and to the ambo-lectern, using some of the wooden parts of the downscaled cathedra from the time of Bishop Rossi. This intervention eliminated the marble balustrade and the baldachin over the high altar.
The decision that led to the current arrangement of the chancel area dates back to 1999, at the behest of Bishop Piergiorgio Debernardi. The study of the chancel was entrusted to the architect Antonio Vincenti of Milan, and the three sculpted elements – altar, ambo and cathedra – were designed by Mario Rudelli. The aforementioned works, in Asiago pink marble, in iconographic catechesis symbolize the “Sacrifices of Abel, Abraham, Melchisedech” (altar); “Christ, the Good Shepherd” and the “Mission of the Apostles” (cathedra); “the Angel of the Resurrection” (ambo).
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The building may be visited at the times indicated unless a religious function is in progress
- Cattedrale di Pinerolo
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- Piazza del Duomo 1, Pinerolo Torino, Italia
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