The cathedral of Turin, built in the last years of the XVth century (between 1491 and 1498), lies in the place where three paleochristian churches dedicated to the Holy Saviour, Saint Mary of Dompno and St. John the Baptist were located.
Built at the behest of Bishop Domenico Della Rovere, the existing building is in Renais-sance style and the project was assigned to Meo del Caprina da Settignano from Florence.
The interior of the church is arranged in the form of a latin cross and dominated by a spacious nave defined by Susa stony columns and bordered by two minor aisles along which the exterior walls hide thirteen chapels (six along the right aisle and seven along the left one). The second altar in the right hand nave has a great artistic value, is host to works of the painter Defendente Ferrari and dedicated to the saints Crispino e Crispiniano. The first on the left side is host to the baptistry. The Trinity chapel (the third of the left nave) hosts the corpse of Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925), the young native of Turin who Pope John Paul II beatified in 1990. Moreover, the Cathedral of Turin hosts a San Giovanni Battista relic coming from the St. Jean de Maurienne church.
The façade comprises a tympanum and three doorways decorated with reliefs and is covered with white marble. Its traits reveal the lines of the naves that divide the internal spaces. The triangular pediment is on the central and higher part while some volutes overlap the two lateral ones to hide the roofs’ pitches. A stairway leads to the parvis of the church.
The terminal part of the choir was partly demolished in the XVIIth century to insert a circular chapel to keep the Shroud. This chapel was built by Guarino Guarini and completed in 1690.
Between april 11th and 12th, 1997 a fire seriously damaged the Guarini dome. By the way, the Shroud was not in the chapel anymore but in a special case behind the Cathedral main altar and was therefore immediately transferred far away from the fire area.
The cathedral has been rearranged many times along the years: the nave has been rebuilt in 1656, the frescos have been extended in 1834 and removed during the restoration between 1927 and 1929, but the most important change made to the original project is the inclusion of the chapel in the religious complex that keeps the Linen.
The red brick bell tower known as Saint Andrew is outside the cathedral, was completed around 1470 and raised by Filippo Juvarra in 1720. The lower church restorationed, that now hosts the diocesan Museum of sacred art, is part of the museum circuit of the “noble area” of Turin.