Waldensian Temple

Pinerolo / Italy

  • Church

 Pinerolo is the birthplace of an important figure in Waldensian history, the pastor and historian Gerolamo Miolo; certainly in the sixteenth century various other inhabitants of the city adhered to the message of the Reformation. Despite this, Pinerolo was never the seat of a real reformed community, since, from the first years of the Counter-Reformation, it became, by political and ecclesiastical will, an anti-Protestant bulwark.
Numerous edicts issued in the seventeenth century, during the period when Pinerolo belonging to France, reaffirmed the desire not to allow the settlement of "heretics" in the city and specified that they could not stay in the city more than 24 hours for "their business".
After February 17, 1848, the Waldensians of Pinerolo immediately began to organize themselves. A request was sent to the Municipality of Pinerolo for the purchase of an area on the outskirts of the city to build a temple. The Bonomi project was based on the concept of bringing together schools and a hall of worship in a single building.
In June 1855 F. Coïsson presented a second project to the Municipality, which was approved on 6 June of the same year in which the bell towers proposed in the Bonomi project were abolished. We do not know the reasons for this renunciation, but it is likely that it is due to pressure from the Turin government authorities, worried by the growing Catholic opposition.
On 3 December 1855, in the presence of a large part of the municipal administration of Pinerolo, the solemn laying of the first stone was celebrated; this aroused strong criticism from local Catholic circles. The controversy did not stop the work on the temple, which continued thanks also to considerable foreign financial aid. The appearance of the temple was massive but it must be admitted that the temple, given its size, could comfortably accommodate various activities inside, as well as the home of the pastor himself.
The Pinerolo temple was officially inaugurated on June 29, 1860; the place of worship was on the first floor, while the ground floor was intended to school also open to non-Waldensian students.
In the years 1925-26 radical restoration works were carried out, due to the architect Decker of Turin, who changed the appearance of the temple both externally and internally. On the outside, the temple somewhat lost its appearance, through the elimination of the turrets and the addition of a small pediment with the Waldensian logo. Inside, the worship hall was moved to the ground floor, making it easier to access. In 1957 the window panes were replaced with cathedral glass.

Waldensian Temple
via dei Mille
10064 Pinerolo
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