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The Abbey of Santa Maria di Vezzolano is a religious building in the Romanesque and Gothic styles, the most important medieval monuments in Piedmont, located in the municipality of Albugnano province of Asti. The first document in which is mentioned the Ecclesia of Santa Maria Vezzolano dates back to 1095: it is the investiture of Theodule and Egidio to officiales, with the commitment to stick to some shared precepts and to live according to the canonical rule, probably that of St. Augustine, attested further Vezzolano from papal bubbles of 1176 and 1182. Located between the Diocese of Vercelli, Asti, Turin and Ivrea, close to the powerful towns of Asti and Chieri, the Canonica Vezzolano testifies with its important works of medieval art a long period of splendor between the XII and XIII centuries, followed by a slow decline, which can be symbolically enclosed in two dates: 1405, when the parsonage was given in commendam to abbots residents elsewhere, and 1800, when the Napoleonic administration will expropriated assets, transforming the church into country chapel Albugnano of the parish and in the barn frescoed cloister. In 1937 the complex was sold to the state and over the Superintendence for Architectural Heritage. The church-oriented, that is, with the apse facing east, was originally a basilica plant, which has three naves, which was modified in the thirteenth century, when the right aisle was transformed in the north side of the cloister. The facade, salient, terracotta with horizontal bands in sandstone, has a rich sculptural decoration of trans connotation concentrated in the central part. The interior is in early Gothic forms: the nave is divided by a pier (or JUBE), rare architectural structure of columns, on which lies a polychrome bas-relief to two superimposed registers depicting the Patriarchs and the Virgin Stories, attributable to the third decade of the thirteenth century although bears the date 1189; on either side of the central window of the apse a polychrome sculpture junction antelamic (late twelfth century) is the Annunciation. In the cloister, one of the best preserved of Piedmont, are sculpted capitals and an important fourteenth century fresco cycle, with the notable representation of the Contrast of the three living and the three dead.

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Località Vezzolano, 35
14020 Albugnano

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