Cella di San Michele

An important testimony of the Biellese Romanesque style.


The name of CellaGrande derives from the place where it is located, where in the past stood the Cella di San Michele, changed at the beginning of the sixteenth century into San Marco. Today there is still the church of the cell where there is the sacred stone dedicated to the latter and the Romanesque bell tower, gently nestled among the vineyards and secular trees of the park overlooking the lake of Viverone. The Romanesque nucleus is part of the building of what was once the Benedictine abbey of S. Genuario, which was partly entitled to fishing on the lake.

The building, built 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 home.

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-storey bell tower in local stone, dating from the mid-11th century, adorned with mullioned windows and mullioned windows supported by 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.