14 January 2015

Chiesa di Santa Cristina (Torino, Italy)

The chiesa of Santa Cristina is the twin to the chiesa of San Carlo on the corners of the southern blocks of the piazza San Carlo. Albeit built in different periods, the two churches create a spectacular backdrop to the piazza, counterpoised to Palazzo Reale at the other end, and are situated on the city's main thoroughfare (the present-day via Roma).

The church and adjacent convent (demolished in 1935 for the rebuilding of via Roma) were dedicated to the Carmelitane Scalze. The design (1639) is attributed to Carlo di Castellamonte, though the church remained without a facade until well into the eighteenth century.

It was eventually rebuilt in 1715 by Filippo Juvarra in his new architectural language. The facade, with its free-standing columns and overlaid orders with a concave-convex movement, is set off by the contrast between the grey granite of the Susa Valley and the white stone of Gassino.