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Biella- Church of the Holy Trinity

Foto Church of the Holy Trinity -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Church of the Holy Trinity -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Church of the Holy Trinity -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Church of the Holy Trinity -  of historical value  of artistic value
Foto Church of the Holy Trinity -  of historical value  of artistic value
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Places  of historical value  of artistic value in the Biella area: Church of the Holy TrinityThe Church of the Holy Trinity represents a little-known jewel of art (despite being exactly behind the Cathedral), probably due to the fact that it is only rarely open (usually on Sunday morning).

The history of the church is linked to that of the Confraternity of the Holy Trinity (a brotherhood in Rome), to which the local Confraternity of Saints Fabian and Sebaastian was added in 1579.

In 1623 the construction of a hospital for pilgrims and the sick began, assisted free of charge by the members of the brotherhood. Three years later in 1626 the brotherhood began the construction of the Church of the Holy Trinity, next to the hospital and on the site that previously housed the Church of the Brotherhood of Saints Sebastian and Fabian.
The church as we see it today, however, is the result of very subsequent additions and integrations, but which blend very well with each other and offer the observer a harmonious and coherent architectural whole.
The vault and the Via Crucis were painted in 1861 by Antonio Ciancia.
The internal floor was redone in 1877.
The façade, although in Baroque style, was actually created by Antonio Mosso only in 1956.

Externally the church is very simple, especially since its back side is attached to that of the Cathedral.
The bell tower is inserted into the right side of the church approximately halfway.
From the outside the church might appear to have a basilica structure, because the lateral parts are lower than the central one. However, they correspond to side chapels, not naves.
The façade, on two orders, vertically punctuated by pilasters and with a large pediment at the top, is, as mentioned, very recent, but the style is Baroque, with volutes connecting the upper order with the lower one.
The entrance door is protected by a prothyrus with a Serlian front structure.
Internally the church has a single nave with a barrel vault with lunettes. The vault is separated from the side walls by a thick entablature and a frame decorated with stucco and paintings. They run along the entire perimeter of the church excluding the counter-façade.
On the left side, corresponding to each lunette, there is a rectangular window. On the right side there are windows only in the two lunettes corresponding to the choir. In the others the wwindows are only painted. The church is therefore not very bright, given that the only other window of significant size is the one in the center of the upper order of the facade. In some chapels there is a window, but they are always very small semicircular windows.
The vault is richly decorated with trompe l'oeil stuccos, frames and caryatids, in particular forming panels with depictions of characters and scenes from the Scriptures inside. All enriched with garlands of multicolored flowers.
In the largest panel in the center of the vault is Our Lady of the Assumption crowned by the Trinity.
The church has four side chapels on each side, all of the same structure. They are interspersed with pilasters and at the top of each entrance arch there is a stucco frame containing an inscription. Between the arch and the entablature there are depictions of angels, often musicians, leaning on the arch, the work of Anselmo Tognetti, known as Allasina.
Starting from the entrance:
- First chapel on the left: Already dedicated to San Filippo Neri, it is now dedicated to San Gaetano. The altar has a painted wooden retable with an architectural structure, with two columns, each containing an angel, and a broken pediment which frame a central space in which however there is not an altarpiece, but a statue of the saint. The walls and vault are entirely frescoed.
- Second chapel on the left: Already dedicated to Saint Maurice Martyr, it is now dedicated to St. Rita. Also in this case the altar is surmounted by a retable with an architectural structure. In the center of it is a picture of the saint. The vault and side walls are decorated with frescoes and stuccos. In particular, on the left wall there is a depiction of Saint Lawrence Martyr, on the right Saint Francis from Sales.
- Third left chapel: Already dedicated to the Virgin of Snow, it is now dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Also in this case the altar is surmounted by a retable with an architectural structure, with two angels on the sides of the central frame and a broken pediment at the top. The walls and the vault are decorated with stucco to form frames containing frescoes of characters and episodes from the Scriptures.
- Fourth chapel on the left: Also entirely decorated with stucco and frescoes, it contains a valuable crucifix from 1470-1480. At the back, hidden by a confessional, there is a door connecting to what remains of what once the hospital.
- First chapel on the right: Built in 1690 and originally dedicated to St. Agata, it is today dedicated to St. Zita Virgin, protector of domestic workers. The side walls are decorated with trompe l'oeil frescoes to simulate mixtilinear frames and baroque decorations with a vegetal theme. The altar is dominated by a rich baroque altarpiece with an architectural structure in which two black twisted columns crossed by golden branches support a large broken pediment containing a plaque. Two putti sitting on the pediment on either side of it are holding a garland.
The altarpiece depicting St. Zita, clearly more recent than the retable, is located within a frame of putti, cherub heads and stucco garlands.
- Second chapel on the right: Already dedicated to St. Francis from Paola, it is now dedicated to the Madonna of Oropa and St. Anna. Here too the walls and the vault are richly decorated, with the stucco decoration being particularly accentuated, so that the frescoes are all small in size. The large retable with an architectural structure is characterized by the fact that two angels appear to be holding a thick entablature decorated with three cherub heads on which a broken pediment rests. The altarpiece was painted in 1637 by Vincenzo Costantino and faithfully portrays the statue of the Madonna of Oropa as it was at the time.
- Third chapel on the right: It is dedicated to the Immaculate Virgin of Lourdes. Here too the walls are decorated with stucco and frescoes. On the internal left side of the entrance arch St. Sebastian is depicted, on the right side San Rocco. The recent altar is the work of Faustino Binder. It is characterized by the presence, in the center of the altarpiece, of a large gilded wooden frame with sumptuous shapes containing a niche with a large statue of the Queen of the Pyrenees, a gift from Canon Don Giovanni Iorio.
- Fourth chapel on the right: It is dedicated to Saint Joseph. It is less rich than the others as the stucco decorations are only simulated through trompe l'oeil frescoes. Also the retable is only simulated. In the center of the back wall there is a niche containing a statue of Saint Joseph.
On the counterfaçade there is a large choir loft that crosses it from side to side and houses an organ. The lunette is occupied by a fresco of the annunciation (1643, Anselmo Tognetti, known as Allasina), divided in two by the window in the centre.
The presbytery and the choir continue the same structure of the nave with the difference that in this case the lateral arches do not lead to chapels but act as frames, in the upper part, for large frescoes. One arch corresponds to the presbytery and two arches to the deep rectangular choir.
The high altar in gilded wood was built between 1682 and 1684 by Giovanni Antonio Veglio from Pettinengo and was then gilded in 1706 by Giovanni Bernardino Torelli from Serravalle. It has a multi-level architectural structure. The lower level, placed above a plinth, is made up of a sort of portico of twisted columns with the coronation of the Virgin in the centre. The upper level instead includes a sort of elaborate little temple which itself has two levels culminating in a dome with a statue of Christ the Redeemer at the top.
Arranged between the columns and above them are the statues of the four Cardinal Virtues (Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance), of the three Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope and Charity), of a soldier of Diocletian with a quiver, to symbolize those who pierced Saint Sebastian with the arrows, and that of the Roman matron Saint Irene who cared for and healed the same saint.
All enriched by putti, musical angels, cherub heads and garlands.
Laterally the altar has extensions up to the walls equipped with two doors, so as to separate the choir from the rest of the church. Above the two doors are the statues of St. Sebastian and St. Fabian Pope.
The large frescoes on the side walls of the presbytery and choir depict episodes from Jesus' childhood. The two frescoes in the presbytery were painted in 1640 by Vincenzo Costantino and represent the Annunciation and the Return from Egypt. As was often customary in that era, the clients were also included in the two frescoes, Giovanni Andrea Gamparova in the first and Giuseppe Ceretti in the second.
The frescoes in the choir, which should have been painted more or less in the same period as those in the presbytery, were instead created in part by Anselmo Tognetti, known as Allasina (Nativity, Circumcision and Adoration of the Magi), partly by his son Giovanni Francesco (Presentation in the Temple).
The angels between the arches and the entablature are here replaced by prophets bearing scrolls, also painted by the Allasina.
Also from the Allasina are the Holy Trinity in the lunette of the back wall of the choir, the underlying canvas depicting the Coronation of the Virgin and the frescoes in the extrados and in the internal and external panels of the chapels.
The two side paintings on the back wall of the choir depict the Blessed Amedeo and the Blessed Margaret of Savoy and are attributed to Allasina's son, Giovanni Francesco.
The vault was instead decorated with tempera in 1861 by Antonio Perrone Ciancia, who depicted within trompe l'oeil simulations of stucco frames scenes from the Passion of Christ and the Triumph of the Virgin.

Categories: Places of historical value of artistic value

Via Italia, 13900 Biella BI
Church of the Holy Trinity: Further pictures in the section Photography
Biella (Italy): Main altar of the Church of the Holy Trinity
Biella (Italy): Presbytery and choir of the Church of the Holy Trinity
Biella (Italy): Fresco depicting the Return from Egypt in the Church of the Holy Trinity
Biella (Italy): Interior of the Church of the Holy Trinity
Biella (Italy): Vault of the nave of the Church of the Holy Trinity
Biella (Italy): Interior of the choir of the Church of the Holy Trinity
Biella (Italy): Nave of the Church of the Holy Trinity
Biella (Italy): Prophets with scrolls in the choir of the Church of the Holy Trinity