Vercelli's Treasures




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Via Dionisotti 27 , Vercelli

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St. Andrew'S Basilica


The complex was built between 1219 and 1227, thanks to the generous donation of Guala Bicchieri. Guala was papal legate of Innocent III at the English court of King John and Henry III. England acted in place of the sovereign and signed two editions of the Magna Carta. Helped save England from the Civil War and the French conquest and brought peace to the kingdom. In return he received from Henry III and the goods of the church St.Andrew's Chesterton, with which financed the construction of the basilica.

The plant of the basilica reminiscent Benedictine-Cistercian: there is the presence of a cloister, around which are arranged the church, the pantry, the refectory and dormitory. The style of the complex reveals a wonderful fusion between the model Gothic and Romanesque environmental trends Lombardy and Emilia era visible on the facade. The rose that decorates the facade is one of the symbols of the city and is reproduced in silver and donated to the distinguished guests and close friends.


The Cathedral of St. Eusebius


The Cathedral we see today is not the oldest and certainly the most impressive temple Eusebius, but a building whose birth and development occurred in times closer to us. The foundation of a primitive and modest church dates back to St Eusebius (371) that he wanted to build outside the city walls. Between the fifth and sixth centuries was rebuilt an early Christian basilica that arrived intact until the end of 1570 when he began the demolition. The only survivor of the ancient basilica is the mighty bell tower built in the twelfth century overlooking and protecting the less antiquated architectural composition. The statues of the Saviour and the Apostles which adorn the attic and the construction of the dome date back to 1800.

Real gem, the Crucifix of the Treasury of the Cathedral of Vercelli is the biggest and the most beautiful among those belonging to the Romanesque period. Its construction dates back to 1000, when Bishop Leo commissioned it to replace the previous one, destroyed by fire in 997.

The wooden cross, crafted in embossed silver leaf and gold, measuring 3.27 meters in height and 2.36 in width is the largest among the four similar Ottonian that are preserved, as well as in Vercelli, in Cathedral of Casale, in Milan Cathedral and the church of San Michele Maggiore di Pavia.


Borgogna Museum


Right in the heart of the city, the Museum Burgundy is, in quality and quantity, the second art gallery in Piedmont. Based in a beautiful nineteenth century building, richly decorated, which belonged to the family Burgundy. The collection created by Antonio Burgundy includes works of painting, sculpture, graphic and decorative arts. The preference for painting old focus towards the Renaissance, especially Tuscan, Lombardy and Veneto, ranging from Titian to Bernardino Luini, from France to Sodom, but also to the great Italian Baroque art (Ludovico Carracci, Carlo Maratta). Remarkable is also the bottom of Flemish and Dutch paintings from the same era (about 80 works in all) and the collection of graphics currently in storage, available only on request.


Leone Museum


The Museum Leone originated from will and testament of the notary Camillo Leone in favor of the local Institute of Fine Arts (drawing school with qualifying purposes of craftsmanship and the protection and conservation of the artistic heritage of the area), of which he was director. Opened in 1910, this museum has essentially historical houses important archaeological finds and works of applied art.

It offers a great impact the Roman room, with the famous stele Celtic / Latin; interesting documentation on the history of the city of Vercelli.

The exhibition space is developed in two different buildings of high architectural value: the sixteenth-century house and Palazzo Alciati Langosco that were connected to each other in 1939.

In 2002 were opened new rooms offering a stunning collection of works created between 1500 and 1800: porcelain, ceramics, glass, silver, handmade, paintings and furniture.




Museo Archeologico Civico of Vercelli, named after the father Luigi Barnabite Bruzza, distinguished scholar who devoted himself to the history and archeology of Vercelli, is located in the so-called "sleeve medieval" the former monastery of St. Clare, which overlooks a large square which served as the cloister. The museum houses an archaeological collection consisting of over six hundred artifacts, found during the excavations carried out in urban areas, and illustrates the history of ancient Vercellae following a path into seven themed rooms arranged in chronological order. The new Archaeological Museum is developed with an interactive and multimedia, through the use of projectors and touch screens that allow a shared enjoyment for the whole family and to school groups, for which are also designed specific laboratories, in collaboration with the Leone Museum of Vercelli.


The Museum of the Treasury of the Cathedral


The Museum winds through some of the rooms on the ground floor of the Archbishop's Palace, painted during the episcopate of Bishop Augustine Ferrero (1511-1536), and offers a significant choice of property belonging to the Treasury of the Cathedral Chapter of Vercelli, extraordinary and important documents the prestige of the Church of Vercelli since the Middle Ages. The museum tour guide to the discovery of reality different from today, both from the artistic point of view and from the liturgical, highlighting the value of Vercelli which artistic crossroads and center of evangelization Piedmont.

In the main room stand out for their monumental size, a faithful copy of the Crucifix, extraordinary work of jewelery Ottonian era, preserved in the Cathedral, and her original "filler" in wood, earthenware and organic resins, which together with fragments textiles made from supporting the thin silver foil outside.


Chapter Library and Archive


The Archive and the Chapter Library, reopened to the public in the new headquarters September 1, 1998, are located on the ground floor of the complex architecture of the Archbishop's Palace, which also houses the Museum of the Treasure of the Cathedral.

The library consists of a very important collection of 260 codes dating from the fourth century to the fifteenth century. Among the most valuable manuscripts are: the Codex Vercellensis Evangeliorum (A), attributed to the fourth century on the basis paleographic and attributed by tradition to St. Eusebius, the Apollo Medicus (CCII), code of the ninth century with splendid miniatures in full page; the Vercelli Book (CXVII), among the oldest in the English-speaking codes known so far, from the end of the tenth century. Next to the heritage codicologically, the Archives preserve precious material of the Metropolitan Chapter of the Cathedral. It is parchment and paper documents dating from the eighth century to the twentieth century. In this fund we must remember the famous world map of Vercelli, parchment depicting the globe met in the thirteenth century. Finally Archives preserves a rich musical background consists of 2400 manuscripts dating from the seventeenth century to the twentieth century.

The library of the Library is divided into three funds, consisting of printed editions from the fifteenth century to the nineteenth century.


Vercelli Book


In medieval Vercelli built many hospitalia to host foreigners. Many visitors came from the British Isles, as an institution was founded specifically for them, which was given the name of Hospital Santa Brigida of the Scots. It was there that- as far as we know- a pilgrim left his copy of VERCELLI BOOK, which still remains one of the reasons of pride of the city.

The Vercelli Book is a manuscript of the late tenth century also known as "Codex Vercellensis" or "Codex CXVII". Prepared in a scriptorium in southern England, belongs to a group of four major anthologies in Old Inglese (700/1100), the language of the ancient Angles-Saxons. More precisely, the language of the manuscript is the West Saxon. Because the Vercelli Book is so important?

• because the code dates back to a time far, the late tenth century,

• because the volume is presented as one of the very few manuscripts containing literature Anglo Saxon

• because it has become an indispensable tool for the study of the development of the English language;

• because it offers a witness on the spirituality Anglo Saxon;

• because its presence in Vercelli confirms the enormous prestige of which the city was to enjoy in medieval times;


Festival and competition Viotti


One of the most famous musicians in the world, GB Viotti, was born in 1755 just steps from Vercelli (Fontanetto Po). He was a pupil of Pugnani and traveled throughout Europe with his teacher. France was at Versailles before founding the Théâtre de Monsieur in 1788. In 1789 he moved to England, where he became a star himself to the people, such as the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge and was among the founders of the Philharmonic Society of London.

The Viotti Festival is a concert series that since 1998 is one of the most interesting and followed musical projects of the city à of Vercelli and the entire Piedmont region. Always it is the interpreter Orchestra Camerata Ducale, training born crowning patients as fascinating historical-musical on the figure and work of the great composer and violinist Piedmontese Giovanni Battista Viotti.

The extraordinary results achieved in years of assiduous research from Rimonda, concertmaster and principal conductor of the Orchestra, and Cristina Canziani, artistic director of the team, have enabled the creation of a stable and prestigious concert season that in the name of Viotti meets every year in Vercelli the best names of the international concert.


The Roman Bath


The Roman Baths are located in via Simon of Collobiano: it is a structure that highlights part of a large room with a central plan with walls featuring apses, certainly part of an imposing building, which stood on the area now occupied by the seminary Archbishop, dated between the late first and second centuries AD Its size, estimated at more than 300 square meters, made it one of the public buildings larger whole Cisalpine confirming the importance that the municipium of Vercelli had reached in imperial age.