History and culture

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The city was founded at the confluence of the Dora Riparia river with the Cenischia stream in a strategic position to control the routes leading to the Moncenisio and Monginevro passes. The origins of Susa “Porta d’Italia” are lost in history. In 500 BC, when cities like Aosta and Turin had not yet been founded, in Susa  existed a Celtic reality perfectly organized by the Druid priests. Later Romanized it had its maximum splendor with the peak of the Roman Empire. There followed a long decline until the rebirth, in the VIII century, under the dominion of the Franks. Theater of looting and fires, being at the center of the paths and roads that led from the north Europe towards the city of San Pietro, was the first territory to be subjected to the Counts of Moriana in the XI century . Having become a province under the Savoy, it closely followed the destiny of the duchy. After the unification of Italy, the province of Susa was incorporated into that of Turin.

 

SAINT JUST CATHEDRAL: XIth century, it is in Romanesque style with gothic and baroque transformations

SAVOY GATE: III-IVth century, it’s the point of entry to the Medieval part of the town

ARCH OF AUGUSTUS: 13-8 B.C., the arch was erected to celebrated the alliance between Octavian Augustus Caesar, first Roman Emperor and Cotius, King of the Celts. The frieze depicts the animal sacrifice which sealed the pact.

ROMAN AQUEDUCT: IVth century A.C., the arches of the Roman aqueduct rest on the remains of a Celtic altar.

COUNTESS ADELAIDE’S CASTLE – CIVI MUSEUM XIth Century,  residence of the Countess Adelaide, whose marriage to Oddone (Umberto Biancamano’s son, Count of Maurienne and Savoy) marked the beginning of the Savoy dynasty in Italy. She became Emperor Henry the IV’s mother-in-law when he married her daughter Berta

ROMAN AMPHITHEATRE: IInd century, Roman amphitheatre discovered in the last century. Gladiators fought here and hunting scenes, called “venationes”, took place

ST. FRANCIS CHURCH: XIIIth century, the church was founded by Beatrice of Savoy to celebrate Saint Francis’ visit to the town. Inside there are splendid frescos and two cloisters

THE MADONNA OF THE BRIDGE CHURCH AND THE DIOCESAN SACRED ART MUSEUM: XIIIth century, the church of Medieval origins is devoted to the Holy Virgin of Peace. Since the year 2000, it houses the Museum of Sacred Art, where you can find a rich collection of religious objects from the Cathedral’s Treasures and from the Susa Valley.

SAINT MARY’S CHURCH: XIth century, the oldest church in the town, of early Romanesque Style, it has been closed for worship since 1749 and is now a private home

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