Gran Madre di Dio, Turin


Coordinates: 45°03′44″N 7°41′57″E / 45.0622°N 7.6991°E / 45.0622; 7.6991 The church of Gran Madre di Dio is a Neoclassic-style church located in front of Piazza Vittorio Veneto, at the western side of the bridge dedicted to Vittorio Emanuele I, in Turin, region of Piedmont, Italy.[1]

The church was conceived in 1814 to celebrate the return of the King Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia to the throne, after the defeat of Napoleon. The architect was Ferdinando Bonsignore, whose project was chosen following a competition. Construction began in 1818, only to pause for nearly a decade, and restart in 1827, under the rule of Charles Felix of Sardinia. The church was inaugurated in 1831 under Charles Albert of Sardinia.[2]

Others who contributed to the construction were Giuseppe Formento and the engineer Virginio Bordino. The latter helped raise the columns on the façade. The architect Luigi Canina was consulted during construction. Flanking the entrance staircase are two statues representing Faith (with calyx) and Religion by Carlo Chelli. The tympanum of the church states: ORDO POPVLVSQVE TAVRINVS OB ADVENTVM REGIS, which can be translated as: The Nobility and the Population of Turin for the Return of the King. The church architecture recalls the Pantheon in Rome.

The steps of the Gran Madre appear twice in the 1969 film The Italian Job.


  1. Marcella Borghi; Viviana Arrigoni; Guglielmo Martinello; Touring Club of Italy; Antony Shugaar (January 1999). Italy: A Complete Guide to 1,000 Towns and Cities and Their Landmarks, with 80 Regional Tours. Touring Editore. p. 374. ISBN 978-88-365-1522-6. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  2. Henry Russell Hitchcock (1977). Architecture: 19th and 20th Centuries. Yale University Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-300-05320-3. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
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