Juvarra's Superga

Juvarra's Superga
Juvarra's Superga

This church in the vicinity of Turin is the great work of the late Baroque architect Filippo Juvarra (1678 – 1736).

The work is a commission he received from King Victor Amadeus IIhimself, who wanted to build it with a double meaning. On the one hand, in the form of a monumental ex-voto for the end of the siege that northern Italy had suffered by French troops in 1706, which is why La Superga ended up becoming a temple of pilgrimage.

Juvarra's Superga

Juvarra's Superga

But on the other hand, it was also conceived as Panteon of the Dukes of Savoy, to whose dynasty Victor Amadeus II belonged.

The church is located on top of a hill, and in reality is part of a large monumental complex, since the church is its imposing front and vertical front, and all of it is presented to us in stone, while the horizontal and rear mass of the complex corresponds to the convent area, and it is a construction mainly made of brick. As if that were not enough, the architect, in addition to perfectly integrating both spaces with each other, also knew how to harmonize the whole with the natural environment that surrounds it. In short, a great work in whichJuvarraspent many years of his life, specifically between 1717 and 1731.

The church itself has an advanced portico on a classical plinth. and up you seea dome that covers both the congregational space and the chancel. But the two side bell towers also stand out.

For all these reasons, it is a work that brings together different influences, from the Roman Pantheon to the Renaissance façade of St. Peter's in the Vatican or the Baroque façades of the Rainaildi churches in the Roman Piazza del Popolo.

Those are its most classical influences, but at the same time it includes other more surprising elements such as the memory of the bulbous bell towers of German or Austrian origin. An influence that is also noticeable in the accentuated rectangle that occupies the space of the convent, with a distribution similar to that of the Germanic monasteries.

That is to say, Juvarra is influenced by different languages, but on the other hand he is able to unify everything in a very personal way, both for his aesthetics, for his pronounced verticality and for his proportions.

It makes the most refined classicism coexist on the outside, conceived with very simple forms, but it includes the baroque feeling with a marked staging guided by openness, lightness, pastel tones and the trend towards heights.

And when it comes to the interior, you can also talk about wisdom to mix ideas. Because at the same time that it proposes an itinerary from the portico, to the congregational space under the dome, and finally to the presbytery, it is also true that everything is based on a central plan with a Greek cross integrated into an octagon, which in turn is inside a circle. That is to say, all an intellectual gametypical of the years in which the temple was built, at late Baroque.

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