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Ponderano (Biella)- Ponderano

Foto Ponderano -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Ponderano -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Ponderano -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Ponderano -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Ponderano -  of historical value  of artistic value
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Places  of historical value  of artistic value in the Biella area: PonderanoThe village of Ponderano has medieval origins. It is mentioned for the first time in a document dated 882 with which the Emperor Charles II the Fat donated to the Church of Sant´Eusebio, in the person of Littuardo, bishop of Vercelli, the "grand court" of Biella, to which Ponderano belonged, with all its pertinences. In the first feudal period the village was part of the Vercelli committee. It appears in an imperial diploma of 988, with which the emperor Otto III confirmed the possession of the area to Manfredo di Cavaglià, son of Ajmone, count of Vercelli, who had already obtained from Ottone I the courts of Ponderano and the territories surrounding Biella for exchange made with the diocese of Vercelli.
In 998, the killing of bishop Pietro di Vercelli by the marquis Arduino d'Ivrea, with the complicity of Manfredo, provoked the reaction of the emperor Otto, who with diplomas of 7 May 999 and 1 November 1000 returned to the diocese of Vercelli the goods and possessions of the Marquis and of his relatives and friends, confirming the dominion of all that the Emperor Charles had granted to Bishop Littuardo in 882. After various events, in 1243, the papal legate Gregorio di Montelungo sold the dominion over Ponderano to the municipality of Vercelli, from which it passed into the hands of the Avogadro of Cerrione and remained so until 1404 when they submitted to the Counts of Savoy. Amedeo VIII, having received the deed of submissione, reinvested them of all the fiefdoms owned and, among others, of the place, castle and jurisdiction of Ponderano.

In 1409 the castle was destroyed by a fire which also involved a large part of the village and which seriously damaged the ancient church. In 1551, with the authorization of the Duke of Savoy, the Avogadro family ceded the fiefdom, with all the jurisdiction, to the Dal Pozzo family, which previously boasted patrimonial interests in it and kept it owned until the fiefs were abolished.

On 14 December 1798 Ponderano passed under the dominion of the French and a "patriotic militia" was established there. In 1815, with the fall of Napoleon, it returned under the jurisdiction of the House of Savoy. Throughout the nineteenth century, excluding a very short period during which it underwent Austrian domination (1859), Ponderano remained in the hands of the Savoy family who, after the unification of Italy, inserted it into the province of Novara.
In 1927 the town passed to the province of Vercelli and later to the province of Biella.

The village includes various buildings of historical and artistic interest:

  • Tower of the castle: (Fig. 1, 2) This is what remains of the medieval castle that was destroyed in 1409. In it the typical structure of the entrances of late medieval castles is still recognizable, with a main entrance for the chariots and a secondary one, now walled up, much narrower and reserved for people. Above the entrances there are still the slits for the chains through which it was possible to raise the drawbridges. Above them the machicolations and a covered space. The structure is in brick and river pebbles. On the side facing the town, a part of pebble masonry arranged in a herringbone pattern is visible. Note that the main passage has an acute arch on the side facing the countryside and a rounded arch on the side facing the town.
    The tower was renamed "Ciucarun" by the locals because, for a very long time, the largest bell was placed in it, removed from the bell tower damaged by the fifteenth century fire.

  • Church of St. Lawrence Martyr (Larger image): It is not known exactly when the church was built. Certainly, however, after the fire of 1409 that destroyed the castle and in place of the previous building in Romanesque style. The baroque facade in exposed brick dates back to the eighteenth century, the bell tower between 1657 and 1660, perhaps built on the basis of the previous one or on what remained of one of the castle towers. The interior of the church, with three naves and with three chapels on each side, is very rich and houses various artefacts and works of art, especially from the Baroque era. However, the works to add the more recent chapel, the one dedicated to the Virgin of Oropa, led to the rediscovery of late Gothic frescoes by Gaspare da Ponderano.
    Church of St. Lawrence Martyr in detail

  • Church of the Confraternity of San Giovanni (Fig. 3): It is located behind the parish church, next to the castle tower, and is made up of two buildings built in different eras and styles and joined to each other. The original oratory, older, was built around 1500, with the Renaissance facade facing north. It was then transformed into the presbytery of a second church in 1644, with a single very wide nave and a south-facing facade. The facade, unfortunately very ruined, of this second church (Fig. 4) is decorated with stuccoes and has two niches in the upper part with the remains of terracotta statues depicting St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. Above the entrance door, now walled up, there are the remains of a fresco depicting a Virgin with Child. The bell tower, located on one side of the original oratory, is an eighteenth-century work in Baroque style and is equipped with an onion dome.
    Unfortunately the church cannot be visited as the interior is in poor condition.

  • Oratory of the Saints Fabian and Sebastian: It is an ancient church located on the left side of the current cemetery, formed by a Baroque reconstruction of 1632 on a previous Romanesque church, an extension of a Romanesque apse which collapsed in 1955. Inside there were precious frescoes of the sec. XIV - XVI, now preserved in the Territory Museum of Biella


Categories: Places of historical value of artistic value


Ponderano (Biella)