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The Church of Santa Cristina is one of the “twin” churches located in Piazza San Carlo, and when viewed from the front, it is the church on the left.

It was commissioned by the regent Maria Cristina of France in 1639 and is part of the project to expand the city southward.

The project was entrusted to Carlo di Castellamonte and upon his death, continued by his son Amedeo.

As mentioned, construction began in 1639 but was suspended in 1641. The church remained without a facade, which was only completed in 1718 by order of Vittorio Amedeo II. However, the work proceeded with a Baroque-style project by Filippo Juvarra.

Adjacent to the church, there was also a convent for the Discalced Carmelites, where Maria Cristina often visited in the last period of her life. The convent was suppressed in 1802, during the French rule, and then definitively demolished in the 1930s during the reconstruction of Via Roma.

Church of Santa Cristina, the church of the maidservants

In the early 19th century, during the Napoleonic rule, it became the site of the Stock Exchange. It then resumed its original role upon the return of Victor Emmanuel I. During this time, it earned the nickname Church of the Maidservants” Mass was indeed held on Sunday afternoons: the only half-day off available to the domestic workers employed in the many stately homes nearby.

Chiesa di Santa Cristina

The church consists of a single nave with baroque decorations and a barrel vaulted ceiling. Noteworthy is the gilded wooden pulpit. The organ, preserved behind the altar, dates back to 1748. Two side altars complete the church.

Maria Cristina of France, upon her death in 1663, wished to be buried in this church dressed as a Discalced Carmelite. Her body was moved to the Church of Santa Teresa in 1802, under the Napoleonic government.

Note: the Church of Santa Cristina does not have a bell tower.

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