News Archivio Bellinzona
29 August Aug 2014 1210 4 years ago

The Swiss history hidden in the Fabbrica's documents

Documents from the Archives exhibited in Bellinzona up to October 31

The documents of the Archives of the Veneranda Fabbrica are the most precious prism through which the history of Milan can be viewed.
Through the signs of time imprinted on documents, ledgers and parchments - which received a new lease of life after the refurbishment work that started on 4th November last year and will culminate in the digitalisation of this documentary heritage, the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano reasserts itself as the crossroads between timeless histories - both large and small - and the "soul" of its territory.
In the exhibition that will run at Castelgrande di Bellinzona until October 31, called Castelgrande, the Visconti's return, the documents from the Archives will provide an overview of the Duchy of Milan and its century of domination over Switzerland.
It was Gian Galeazzo Visconti, lord of Milan, who founded the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo in 1387, tasking it with the design and construction of the Cathedral. From then on, all documents pertaining to the Cathedral are stored in the Archives of the Veneranda Fabbrica. A centuries-long history and its international ramifications are embedded in its documents. Thanks to them, it is possible to retrace the most important events of the Duchy of Milan, which had both political and territory interests beyond the Alps.

The exhibits includes weapons, jewels and fabric, showcasing the high accomplishments of Lombardy's jewellery, painting and textile art in those years, as well as documents from various Swiss and Italian museums. Amongst the latter, there are also four precious documents stored in the Archives of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo.
All of them relate to the history of Canon Francesco Parravicino and the ecclesiastical benefit - also know as monacaria - built in the Church of Saint Blaise in Bellinzona. The Canon seems to have enjoyed the patronage of Duke Gian Galeazzo Maria Visconti, who, in 1482, wrote to Bellinzona's commissioner asking him to grant Parravicino the above-mentioned ecclesiastical benefit. These are small, but important traces of the history of Viscontean power that are intertwined and coexist with the Cathedral’s great people's history in the Archives.

For further information on the exhibition, please contact:

Phone. +41 91 825 21 31