The province of Alessandria

San Martino

Pictures (1)

Probably the oldest church of Castellazzo Bormida, founded before the year 1000. The earliest reliable data on the church are dated 1106, in a document stipulated "in locum gamundii, in platea s. martini"; the capitals by the altar, recently brought back to light, and the stylised lions in the façade, whose original position is unknown, may date to that time. The church is "copied" by the gamondiesi in Alessandria after the foundation of the town; the two rectories entrusted to the Order of the Augustinian Fathers, in Castellazzo from 1264, remain in contact through the centuries until the 19th century demolition of the Church of Alessandria. The church is perhaps rebuilt in the 14th century and expanded in the early decades of the 16th century; the works are completed in 1534 with the forward displacement of the façade to encompass the bell tower, which was originally the Praetorian Office: the first day of February the church was consecrated by Leonardo di Vercelli, bishop of Bethlehem (who will also consecrate S. Maria della Corte the following day). The façade is completed in 1561. The real appearance of the church in these centuries remains unknown. In 1929, the church, which had a large window in the façade and horizontal stripes on the outside, is heavily renovated and brought back to its presumed initial appearance (which we see today) in line with the pseudo-conservative spirit of the restorers of the time. On the night, between 15 and 16 September 1895, a candle left burning caused the inner stairs of the rear bell tower to catch fire. The bell tower was rebuilt to a design by the architect Giuseppe Boidi Trotti, by raising it about 15 metres above the structures of the old tower. The bell tower was recently consolidated (also following the earthquakes of August 2000 and April 2003) after decades of inactivity and re-equipped with bells. The convent of S. Martino is mentioned for the first time in a will of 1347. The current appearance is a result of the reconstruction work carried out between 1664 and 1675. In the late 19th century, it was reduced to a single wing. The remaining interior rooms were probably decorated at the same time. The surviving wing of the convent still exists and thanks to the intense activity of the parish priest Don Gianni Cossai, it has been open for use by the Castellazzo community since 2005.

Address and contacts
piazza San Martino
15073 Castellazzo Bormida (AL)

Telephone number: +39 (0131) 272.832