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Complex of S. Pietro

From the Order of Knights of Malta to the modern day: all the charm of the Complex of S. Pietro

Built in the Twelfth century outside the circle of walls, the Hierosolymita Hospital and the nearby church of the Holy Sepulchre were home, from their construction until 1798, of the Order of the Knights of Jerusalem, also known as the Knights of Malta. This Order was born on the initiative of Blessed Gerard during the first Crusade (1099) and in the Fourteenth century played the role of Grand Priory of Lombardy which controlled the Order in northern Italy.

The complex consists of a series of buildings. The “Rotonda” church was built between 1110 and 1130; its original dedication to the Holy Sepulchre and its shape place it among the most significant examples of churches built in imitation of the Rotunda of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

The Valperga chapel, with a squared plan, was built between 1446 and 1467 on commission of  Prior Giorgio Valperga and shows remarkable terracotta friezes attributed to Francesco Filiberti from Alessandria. The cloister, with circular pillars and cross vaults characterized by a perfect wall texture, took on an aspect very similar to the current one only in the Fifteenth century. The rooms of the Prior’s house are almost totally the result of the intervention dated to 1930-1931. As part of the “Asti: Wine and Culture” project, the San Pietro complex will be restored in order to be included in the European itinerary of the Rotundas of the Holy Sepulchre.

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