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Andorno Micca (Biella)- Chapel of the Hermit

Foto Chapel of the Hermit -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Chapel of the Hermit -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Chapel of the Hermit -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Chapel of the Hermit -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Chapel of the Hermit -  of historical value  of artistic value
Show to visit in the Biella area:
Places  of historical value  of artistic value in the Biella area: Chapel of the HermitThe small oratory, little more than a chapel, is located in the woods on the border with Pettinengo, in particular with its fraction Selve Marcone, and a few hundred meters from the Church of San Giuseppe di Casto.
The small temple (also known as the Chapel of the Hermits, Oratory of Santa Maria of the Hermits and Small Church of the Ants, because the faithful of the surrounding villages used to visit it in case of insect infestations) arose in the middle of a crossroads, where a mule track connected the Cervo Valley with the Sessera and the Strona Valleys.
The hermit present in some of the names of the chapel was a pious man who offered help and hospitality to travelers who passed through those places, at that time inaccessible and solitary.

The church has a very simple structure, with a simple nave and a semicircular apse on the bottom that occupies the entire width of the building. The oratory is very old, probably from the sixteenth century. The shape of the apse would actually make think of even older origins.
In recent times the bell tower and the sacristy (1929) were added.
Externally there are no decorations of any kind, except for a frame around the door and two stone benches on either side of it. On the facade there are, however, three windows: one central at the top and two at the sides of the entrance.

The interior, instead, is much richer.
The focal point is represented by the apse. Three levels can be recognized in it: the apsidal basin is frescoed with an Adoration of the Magi rich in exotic elements, including two dromedaries and one of the Magi with black skin and dressed in oriental style. The style of the fresco, characterized by strong colors and simple but emotionally engaging figures, would lead to the attribution of the fresco to Pietro Lace from Andorno. In that case the fresco should be of the end of the seventeenth century or of the beginning of the eighteenth century.
Under the apsidal basin there is a horizontal band with various characters represented. From left to right, Santa Caterina, Santa Apollonia, Baby Jesus in the arms of the Virgin giving alms to a poor man, another saint and a Madonna with Child. The captions (some lost) just below left no doubt about which characters were represented!
Also in this case the style suggests Pietro Lace or someone close to him as most probable author.
Interesting are the two saints present on the internal side of the great arch between the apse and the nave: San Rocco (1527) and S. Antonio Abate (1607). Their dating allows to think that perhaps originally the fresco of the apse was another, then replaced by the one currently visible.
The decorations in the ceiling and walls, in neoclassical style, are clearly more modern (and could even be recent).
The church is completed by a statue of the Black Madonna of Oropa on a shelf on the right wall and a small cantoria accessible via a steep staircase.

In ancient times behind the Church there was a house, which served as a home to the Hermit, demolished at the end of the last century.

Categories: Places of historical value of artistic value

45.618976, 8.078619
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Andorno Micca (Biella, Italy): Interior of the Chapel of the Hermit
Andorno Micca (Biella, Italy): Fresco of the Adoration of the Magi on the apsidal basin of the Chapel of the Hermit
Andorno Micca (Biella, Italy): Apse of the Chapel of the Hermit