CELL OF SAN MICHELE

An important testimony of the Biellese Romanesque.

The name of CellaGrande derives from the place where it is located, where in the past stood the Cell of San Michele, changed at the beginning of the 16th century into San Marco. Today the church still exists the church where there is the sacred stone dedicated to the latter and the Romanesque bell tower, gently nestled among the vineyards and the centuries-old trees of the park with a view of Lake Viverone. The Romanesque core is part of the building of what was the Benedictine abbey of S. Genuario, which was partly responsible for the right to fish on the lake.

The building, erected in the first half of the 12th century, was inhabited by monks for a long time, but from the 15th century it passed into the hands of noble families. In 1518 the cell was joined to the convent of S. Sebastiano di Biella; suppressed the order in 1798 it was sold to private individuals who turned it into a dwelling.

The church, although remodeled inside on baroque forms, is of Romanesque conception, as evidenced on the outside by the semicircular apse and the right side. The original style is fully preserved in the five-story bell tower in local stone, dating back to the mid-11th century, adorned with single and double lancet windows supported by small columns. We can say that this bell tower represents one of the best Romanesque monuments in the Biella area and also one of the best preserved.