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  • 1. Th e S a nG e r o l a m oMonastery,founded byB l e s s e dG i o v a n n iGromo in1512 on thehill towardsChiavazza, isa wonderfulexample ofRenaissancearchitecture in the Biellese area. It consists of a cloister andtwo orders of arcades with a church having only one nave(originally in the form of a Latin cross).Awooden choir andlarge pictorial decorations of the “School of Lombardy” arepreserved inside the church. In 1864 the building was boughtby the Sella family.VIAG.B.SERRALUNGAPIAZZAMARTIRI DELLALIBERTAVIAPIETROMICCATOURISTOFFICEV I A L A M A R M O R ApiazzaCISTERNACERVOSTREAM1234567891011121314151617181920212223Biella is located atthe foot of theBiellese Alps at themouth of threestreams: the Oropa,Cervo and ElvoStreams,atanaltitudeof 420 meters abovesea level with apopulation of about45,000 inhabitants.This area has beeninhabited sinceancient times and thea r c h a e o l o g i c a lfindings from theBronze Age and the Roman Necropolis, which are kept atthe Museum of Territory, confirm the ancient origins ofBiella. The first recorded information about ancient Bugella(Biella) dates back to a document of 826. The medievalvillage of Piazzo, set on top of a hill, dates back to 1160when Bishop Uguccione started to fortify the hill toconsolidate the secular influence of the Church. In 1379 thecity and its destiny was put under the dominion of Savoy.The city flourished thanks to the establishment of industrieswhich were already significant in the 17th Century. Thissuccess continued through the 18th and 19th Century withan actual industrial revolution transforming it into one ofthe major wool manufacturing centers of the world.23109The city1237111317212219VIAITALIAVIAREPUBBLICAV I A C E S A R E B A T T I S T IPIAZZADUOMOThe monument, unveiled in1886, is dedicated to GeneralAlfonso La Marmora(statesman and Prime Minister)who is buried in the Basilica ofS. Sebastiano.The Funicular, designed byVaccarino, was built in 1885 onthe site where the AntonianiMonastery once stood. Initially itwas driven by hydraulic power andonly later adapted to workelectrically. It is supported by 28pillars, the tallest of which is 9meters.The Church and the Cloisterof Saint Sebastiano. This is anexample of renaissance lombardarchitecture which was startedin 1500, on the initiative ofSebastiano Bartolomeo(treasurer of duchy of Milan)and Andrea Ferrero, and wasterminated in 1551. The Churchwas renovated in 1885. Theinterior is in the form of a latincross with a barrel vault anddecorated lacunars. Inside achapel of the left nave, there is a fresco of the XVI Centuryportraying the crucifixion with the city of Biella in thebackground. Since december 2001 the Cloister is seat ofMuseum of the Territory.The Maurizio Sella Factory of woolfactories, which is an archaeologicalindustrial finding, rises onconstructions which formerlybelonged to the Mondella paper mill(XVI Century). It was thentransformed into a silk spinning millby the Congregation of theSanctuary of Oropa (1695) andonce again modified in the 18thCentury until a wool mill wasestablished in 1838. Inside thebuilding there is the house ofQuintino Sella and today part ofthe complex is dedicated to the SellaFoundation.La Porta della Torrazza or the Door to Oropa, builtin 1780, replaces an ancient medieval door. Itcommemorates the visit of King Vittorio Amedeo II andof Queen MariaA n t o n i aFerdinanda ofSpain to Biellaand the OropaSanctuary. Thedoor has the shapeof an arch and ismade of bricks andoriginally it borethe Savoy coat ofarms which wascut away duringt h e F r e n c hRevolution.The Church dedicated the HolyTrinity dates back to 1626 and issituated behind the Cathedral, butthe facade was rebuilt in 1956. TheChurch has one nave decorated withbaroque stuccoes by B. Guelpa,frescoes by Vincenzo Constantino(1640) and Anselmo Allasina anda precious shrine on the main altar,the work of Giovanni AntonioVaglio (1682).The Baptistry, the mostimportant monument in the city,bears witness to the conversionof the city to Christianity. Itwas partly built with Romanremains. The characteristic bas-relief set in the lunette of thefront door dates back to the IICentury and represents“Hercules, the child and acherub”. The structure ischaracterized by foursemicircular apses on four sidesof a central square.Acrypt wasplanned at the end of the 18thCentury for the graves of theBishops of the city.The Bell Tower of Santo Stefanois what remains of the ancient Pievewhere the Christian center of Bielladeveloped. The ancient Romanesquechurch, dedicated to the patron saintof the city, consisted of a complexof religious buildings beside thebelfry belonging to the “Capitolo”which was demolished in 1872 andreplaced by the present rectory. Thenine storey bell tower is 52,60m.high and is made lighter by a hundredsingle and double lancet windows.The Fountain of Mosesis a work of GiuseppeBottinelli. The statue wasplaced in the square infront of the Cathedralin1885.“The House on woodenbeams” in Piazzorepresents one of thelast examples of thiskind of architecture,which was popular inmedieval Europe. Itwas built of woodand plastered brickswith a straw roofwhich caught fireeasily.8The medieval Palace of thePrinces “Dal Pozzo DellaCisterna” has been changed manytimes. The facade with the stoneportal and balcony was added atthe end of the 16th Century andthe stairs have been added recently.Frames and “terracotta” decoratethe right side of the building andthe pointed arches are medieval.The Renaissance Roman busts jutout of the broken tympanums ofthe second floor. The interior ofthe Palace is decorated with romanand mythological frescos and amonumental XVII Centuryfireplace.Th e P i a z z oArcades. PiazzaCisterna whichtakes its name fromthe palace issurrounded bycharacteristicmedieval arcades,built in two spanswith stone capitalsand “terracotta”decorations.TheChurchofS.Giacomois the oldest medievalbuilding preserved in thearea of Piazzo. The Churchwas first mentioned in adocument of 1180, but it isnot possible to understandwhat remains of the originalchurch. The modernbuilding was consecrated byBishop Ugo di Sessa in 1227 and has been subsequentlymodified. The belfry was added later on but it was alreadymentioned in two documents at the end of the thirteenthcentury. The arcade was added in the 17th Century. Insidethe church the 16th Century burial grounds were put underthe floor and the stuccoes covering the medieval structuredate back to 1862. Many works are preserved inside thechurch such as: the carvedChoir (1697/1698), the15th Century triptych ofDaniele de Bosis (with theVirgin Mary and Child,Saints Gottardo andGiacomo with its donorGiacomo dal Pozzo) andthe baroque Baptistry.The ancient medieval Doorof the city, la Porta diGhiara, was built when theBishops of GhibellineVercelli ran away to theGuelph Biella. On its left sidethere are the remains of abattlement.The medieval Porta di Andornotakes its name from its position.Originally the door had a defensivefunction. Above the arch there is apreserved portion of a fresco “Theexposition of the Holy Shroud”.TheelegantOctagonalTowerbuilt next to the FerreroPalace of the Princes ofMasserano, dates back to theXV Century. The palace wasrebuilt many times in the pastbecause it was used fordifferent purposes. In thesecond half of the 19th Century14Th e Va r a l eTannery. Thisbuilding is ofinterest for theindustrial history ofthe area. Thetannery was built byAntonio Varale in1 7 3 3 b e a r i n gwitness to the earlyp r o c e s s o findustrialization of the city. In 1871, following the industrialrevolution, the tannery was transformed into a factoryproducing transmission belts for local industries.TheHouseofMasserano.The building is located inVia Rocchetta and datesback to the XV century.The facade of the houseis rich in “terracotta” withinteresting frescoes,among which theportrayal of the wild manwith a club.16Near Palazzo Ferrero rose theChurch and the convent of SaintDomenico, which was built onthe remains of the Castle of theBishop of Uguccione. Probablythe history of the village ofPiazzo started from this castle.1820Santa Maria in Piano laterbecame the Cathedral. Thisbuilding was started in 1402 onthe site of X Century churchdedicated to Santa MariaMaggiore. In 1772 it was selectedas the Cathedral and the name ofSanto Stefano was added. In1826 the Gothic arcade, the workof Maradono, was constructed.The interior of the church isdivided into three naves. Indifferent parts of the Church wecan find the remains of thefrescoes of the XV Century.Among the best preserved are the“Madonna con Bambino inTrono” (Madonna with the childon the throne) and the “Cristodella domenica” (the SundayChrist) damaged by many tools.The fountain representing a bear,the animal symbol of Biella, isset in the oldest park of the city.Itwasmadein1875anddedicatedto the Biellese botanist MaurizioZumaglini (1804-1865).1215it was a spa, then it became privateproperty. It was also used as amilitary hospital and later asbarracks.The House of the Holy Shroudtakes its name from the subject ofthe fresco set on the arcade of thefrontdoor.TheworshipoftheHolyShroud was kept alive by thepresence of the Confraternity ofthe Holy Shroud, which had achurch near Lamarmora Palace.Villa SchneiderCulture and TourismAdministrationVilla SchneiderCulture and TourismAdministrationP I A Z Z A V I T T O R I O V E N E T OC I T Y P A R KP I A Z Z A V I T T O R I O V E N E T OC I T Y P A R K45Museum of TerritoryMuseum of TerritoryTOWN COUNCILTOWN COUNCILPistolettoFoundationPistolettoFoundationS. GerolamoMonasteryMaurizio SellaFactorySs TrinitàChurchBaptistryS. StefanoBell TowerPortadella TorrazzaFountain of Moses(Piazza Duomo)House on woodenbeams (XV Century)CisternaPalaceArcadesof PiazzoS. GiacomoChurchPortadi GhiaraPortadi AndornoFerreroPalaceFunicular(1885)S. DomenicoEx MonasteryHouse ofThe Holy ShroudVaraleTanneryMasseranoHouseS. Sebastiano Churchand Cloister (1500)S. Maria in Piano, laterXV Century CathedralFountain of the bear(Giuseppe Maffei)Alfonso La MarmoraStatue (1886)6