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Campiglia Cervo (Biella)- Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni of Andorno

Foto Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni of Andorno -  of historical value  of artistic value  of landscape value
Foto Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni of Andorno -  of historical value  of artistic value  of landscape value
Foto Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni of Andorno -  of historical value  of artistic value  of landscape value
Foto Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni of Andorno -  of historical value  of artistic value  of landscape value
Foto Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni of Andorno -  of historical value  of artistic value  of landscape value
Show to visit in the Biella area:
Places  of historical value  of artistic value  of landscape value in the Biella area: Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni of AndornoThe Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni of Andorno represents from importance the third sacred mountain in the Biella area. It stands at approx. 1000 m above sea level between the town of Campiglia Cervo and the Sanctuary of San Giovanni of Andorno and includes five chapels located at the bends of the mule track that connects the town of Campiglia with the sanctuary. Originally there were seven chapels, but unfortunately two were destroyed during the construction of the road that reaches the sanctuary, at least one is said to be by mistake, knocked down by a moving truck.
It is not known what was the original plan of the sacred mountain, dedicated to the holy hermits. It is known that the project was conceived towards the middle of the seventeenth century and that in 1661 there were already three chapels, while in 1700 it was agreed to build others along the mule track that goes up to the sanctuary from Campiglia Cervo. The two oldest chapels, dating back to 1625, were located closer to the Sanctuary and were dedicated one to the Annunciation of the Angel to Zacharias and the other to the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin. Unfortunately, these are the chapels that have been lost.
The five remaining chapels are located inside a suggestive beech forest and the walk from the village to the sanctuary (max 30min uphill walk) is certainly worth visiting also for the views it offers.
The chapels are all different from each other, although the simple and essential architecture is common. All are built in plastered stone and equipped with a porch to offer pilgrims and travelers a place to rest and pray and a shelter in case of rain.
Foto Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni di Andorno - of historical value of artistic value of landscape value
Foto Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni di Andorno - of historical value of artistic value of landscape value
Foto Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni di Andorno - of historical value of artistic value of landscape value
Foto Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni di Andorno - of historical value of artistic value of landscape value
Foto Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni di Andorno - of historical value of artistic value of landscape value
In all the chapels the room containing statues and frescoes is inaccessible from the outside and the scene represented can be observed only through the grates that close a rather small window (or two windows) with which the room is equipped. This makes it very difficult to adequately appreciate what is present inside.
If the exterior of the chapels are currently in a good state of conservation, unfortunately this cannot be said of the interiors. All the statues (perhaps work of the brothers Pietro Giuseppe and Carlo Francesco Auregio) are in poor condition, some are even without heads, hands or arms. Fortunately, the frescoes are better preserved. They were painted by the Baroque painter Pietro Lace of Andorno in the early eighteenth century. Pietro Lace of Andorno also painted, among others, the frescoes inside the Sanctuary of the Moorland in Trivero, those present in the Chapel of San Giulio in the Church of San Lorenzo in Andorno and the decorations inside the Church of San Giovanni in Veglio. They are therefore frescoes of undoubted artistic value, which would deserve to be better restored and better known.

The Chapels (starting from Campiglia Cervo)
firs Chapel(Fig. 1 and larger picture): It is dedicated to St. Anthony Abbot and Saint Paul the Hermit. It is architecturally the most valuable one for finishing, proportions and quality in execution. Inside, in addition to the statue of the two saints with their heads destroyed, are painted episodes from the life of the two hermits who took refuge in the desert. The fresco that appears on the central wall depicts the ascension to Heaven of Paul's soul, among the choirs of the Angels and surrounded by the prophets and the apostles according to the vision received by Anthony who, when he was ninety-one, buried the anchorite brother who with him for some time he had fed on the prodigious bread brought to them by a crow.
Second Chapel (Fig. 2, 3): It is dedicated to the anchorite Sant'Ilarione. Disciple of St. Anthony Abbot, Ilarione, born in 291, founded many convents in Palestine. He died in the year 371. The hermit's hands are joined in an act of prayer. On the walls are painted devils, horses and characters in rich clothes offering the saint earthly gifts, perhaps to tempt him.
Third Chapel (Fig. 4, 5): It is dedicated to St. Jerome, priest and doctor of the Church of the fourth century, born in Stridon, in Dalmatia, secretary and friend of Pope San Damaso I, reviser of the Latin translations of the Bible and promoter of monastic life.
On the cartouche, now illegible, only the name “Hieronimo” is still recognizable. The painted terracotta statue has no head any more and represents the human figure kneeling with one arm bent in the act of beating his chest. On the walls there are several pictures, with the saint praying or tormented by demons who scourge him, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, the Trinity, the ascension to Heaven, the Son holding the Cross and the Father with the scepter.
Fourth Chapel (Fig. 6): It is dedicated to the Egyptian anchorite Sant'Onofrio, who died around the year 400. Only the photo of the exterior of this chapel is present here because unfortunately the interior has been almost completely lost, both the statue and the frescoes.
Fifth Chapel (Fig. 7, 8): Dedicated to Santa Maria Maddalena it is the largest chapel (it occupies an area of about 30 square meters) and perhaps also the best preserved. Externally it is decorated with a portico on two sides and the interior can be observed from two windows placed on the two sides with a portico. This also makes it the chapel whose interior is brighter. Magdalene is depicted in the terracotta statue kneeling and in the act of prayer beside a skull. The paintings on the walls depict the same saint, with views of cities and of the sea.

Categories: Places of historical value of artistic value of landscape value

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Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni of Andorno: Further pictures in the section Photography
Campiglia Cervo (Biella, Italy): Interior of the chapel of Mary Magdalene of the Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni of Andorno
Campiglia Cervo (Biella, Italy): First chapel of the Sacred Mountain of San Giovanni of Andorno