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San Giovanni Diocesan Museum

Diocesi di Asti

Via Natta 36 – 14100 Asti

The former church of San Giovanni, with walls dating from the 5th–6th centuries, is the first Early Christian church of the Diocese of Asti. The history of the cathedrals is currently being revised due to evidence revealed by the major excavations being carried out in the area of the Episcopal Complex. Indeed, San Giovanni was connected by a quadriporticus to a second cathedral dedicated to Saint Mary, on whose 6th-century remains the current cathedral dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption stands. The former church of San Giovanni now houses the Diocesan Museum and its nave and underlying crypt, connected by a southern subterranean nave, are open to visitors. The church of San Giovanni was rebuilt in the 9th century with a nave and two aisles. It had an exposed roof truss and the nave was illuminated from above by eleven small windows on each side. The church was probably destroyed during the fire of 1070, when the entire city was laid waste by Countess Adelaide of Susa. Around the mid-15th century, Archdeacon Giacomo De Gentis commissioned major work on the building, demolishing the apse and part of the 8th-century crypt, building the current façade with entrance on the eastern side, and closing up the original one on the west. The northern aisle of the church, situated on what is now Via Natta, had already collapsed in the 13th century, while the southern one was converted into the canons’ residence and subsequently demolished in the 18th century. The nave was covered with cross vaults and decorated in the mid-19th century. In the years that followed, what was left of the cathedral of San Giovanni was converted into a parish church and then into a small theatre, until the museum was inaugurated in the building in April 2010. Restoration work carried out in the 1990s stripped the plaster from the outer walls, revealing the architectural details of the 9th-century building and the 15th-century structure commissioned by De Gentis in the nave.

In addition to their evangelization duties, the dioceses also restore and conserve their artistic, architectural and historical culture in partnership with the superintendencies and local authorities. The Episcopal Complex of Asti Cathedral falls into this category, with the restoration of paintings, archaeological excavations, restoration of Roman and Early Christian finds, and the creation of the Diocesan Museum, whose Medieval section was already open to the public. The opening of the Spazio San Giovanni had the dual purpose of making part of the museum complex available to the public, showing the monumental architecture of the church and crypt of San Giovanni, and temporarily displaying part of what is commonly known as the Cathedral Treasure. The first stage of the building’s conversion to a museum dates from the early 1990s, and provided for the restoration of the Canons’ Cloisters in the Episcopal Complex of the Cathedral in order to display the stone, textile and silver exhibits, and other items of the cathedral’s historical and cultural heritage. Although the project was not implemented, due to lack of funds, it served as a starting point for the current museum, which is still not completed. The need to restore the San Giovanni church roof, during the second half of the 1990s, and the work carried out by the competent superintendencies, led to the redefinition of the museum project, which was redesigned on a larger scale, using not only the space of the cloisters, but the entire area between the cathedral and the church itself, including the cloisters. The construction of the first deck over the underground spaces has allowed the protection of the archaeological structures so far uncovered, which are not yet completely visitable, and the creation of the first part of the museum spaces.

External links
Insights
Lun-Gio chiuso
Ven 15:00 - 18:00
Sab-Dom 09:30 - 13:00 15:00 - 18:00

Possibilità di apertura nei restanti giorni su prenotazione
Chiuso nel mese di febbraio

Lun-Gio chiuso
Ven 16:00 - 19:00
Sab-Dom 09:30 - 13:00 16:00 - 19:00

Possibilità di apertura nei restanti giorni su prenotazione

Lun-Dom -

Info

cathedral
Cattedrale di Asti
diocese
Asti
type of building
Musei ecclesiastici
address
Via Natta 36 – 14100 Asti
tel
0141.59.21.76
mail
museo@sicdat.it
web
http://museo.sicdat.it

Services

accessibility
si
reception
true
educational
true
guides
true
bookshop
unknown
food venue
unknown

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