As we crossed over the Vittorio Emanuele I bridge over the River Po, Estela and I came out to the impressive Chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio (Church of Our Great Mother of God).
In front of the Church of Gran Madre di Dio is
a statue of Vittorio Emanuele. Flanking him are
two allegorical statues dedicated to "Religion"
This church was conceived in 1814, to celebrate the return of Vittorio Emanuele I to his throne here in Torino, after the defeat of Napoleon. As you can see, the architect Buonsignore created an Neoclassical rendition of Pantheon in Rome, both on the outside as well as in the inside.
The inscription behind Estela at
the top of the columns reads:
"Ordo Populusque Taurinus ob
Adventum Regis" (The Nobility
and People of Torino on the
return of the King).
Whether or not the creators of this church had more of a political motive than a religious one is debatable.
The fact is, it is a beautiful church, a suitable majestic house of God, and beautiful place for people here who come all day long, on their errands, or back or forth from their places of work, to say an "Ave Maria", before the beautiful statue of the Blessed Virgin.
Before we leave, take a look at the breathtaking dome of the Church of the Gran Madre di Dio.
After a moment of prayer, we will walk down the steps on the right side of the church as you leave, and you will find the "H" Tram, a trolley car line that will take us directly to our next stop to visit the Holy Shroud of Torino: La Cattedrale (Cathedral).