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2 Luglio 2019

Four mysterious faces of Turin

Let’s discover some details about the city: the Devil’s gate, the evil eyes on the sidewalk, the statue that looks towards the Grail and the Zodiac on the Cathedral

Giuseppe Roccia (translation by Lorenzo Bijno)

Torino misteri portone diavolo

A detail of the Devil’s Gate

As Giorgio De Chirico used to say: “Turin is the darkest , the most enigmatic and disturbing city not only in Italy, but in the whole world”, and he’s right; in fact, among the streets of the city there are often places that conceal a connection with esotericism or superstition.
In this article we are going to describe some of them, which were captured by our photographer Federico Mereu in a portfolio of pictures showing the original architecture elements of the city. Each of them carries a story, or a legend, which is worth knowing.

For those who believe in the so-called magic Turin, in via XX Settembre 40 there is the Devil’s Gate at the entrance of Palazzo Trucchi Levaldigi, built by the architect Amedeo di Castellamonte at the end of the seventeenth century. The wooden door features numerous occult figures and one of the doors depicts a demoniac head.

Torino misteri fessure occhi

The air vents in via Lascaris

This connection with Satanism has made the door the protagonist of many legends: according to the most famous, the door appeared out of nowhere the night a sorcerer’s apprentice invoked the dark forces and the Devil, annoyed, decided to punish him by imprisoning him in the door itself.
But magic is only one of many aspects of esotericism. To the uninitiated, via Lascaris is the ancient seat of a Masonic lodge. On the sidewalk at the base of the palace there are cracks which remind us of two menacing eyes: for this reason many have thought it to be another testimony to the magical Turin. Actually, they are simple air and light vents for the underground rooms, where secret meetings were once held.

Torino misteri statua Graal

The statue with the chalice at Church Gran Madre

In front of the Gran Madre Church you may admire its grandeur and majesty, but notice the statue of the veiled woman holding a chalice in her hand at the end of the staircase. For those who love symbolism, it might be the representation of the Faith, embodied in the figure of the Virgin Mary holding the Holy Grail in her hand, the cup with which Jesus celebrated the Last Supper. Legend has it that the statue turns its gaze towards the place where the mythical chalice would really be hidden.

Torino misteri Zodiaco Duomo

The sundial with the Zodiac on the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista

Another important church in Turin, not exempt from stories and rumours, is the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, honoring the patron saint of the city. On the left side of the building you can see an unique sundial in the shape of a cross which, unlike the traditional ones, features the symbols of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. On the opposite sides of the cross are Capricorn, the sign marking the winter solstice and Christmas, and Cancer, which is associated with the summer solstice and the town’s patron saint’s celebration on 24 June.
However, there are many other architecture details sharing tales and curiosities. All you have to do is discover them by walking with your nose upwards.


In collaboration with Study in Torino


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