Superga Things to Do
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Here's some of the views from the top of Superga by the Basilica. You can climb up to the outside of the basilica's dome and the views are great except for the smog!
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On a hill to the north-east of Turin stands the superb baroque basilica of Superga, built by Juvarra in 1717-31. The commission came from Duke Vittorio Amedeo II, in fulfiment of a vow made to the Virgin Mary in 1706 while the French were besieging the duke and his army in Turin.
The beautiful yellow and white facade is dominated by a large portico designed like a classical temple, with a 65m (213ft) high dome immediately beyond. It is flanked by twin bell towers on either side. The interior is magnificent, decorated in light blue and yellow and contains numerous fine paintings and carvings.
Underneath the basilica lies the great mausoleum which houses the tombs of the kings, princes and princesses of Savoy from the 18th and 19th centuries. Turin's 1949 aircrash victims, including the city's football team, are also remembered on a plaque behind the basilica.
The views over Turin and the Po are dramatic.
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The best way to travel up to the Superga basilica is by the rack railway. Before you do so, mind, take a look round the small museum in a room to the left of the ticket desk. Here you'll find a horse driven carriage from the late 19th century as well as photos and artifacts about the railway.
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The Superga Rack Railway (or Sassi-Superga Railway) is a mountain railway that connects the Turin suburb of Sassi to the basilica church of Superga at an altitude of 672m (2205ft). From here, high in the hills facing the city across the River Po, there is a splendid panorama of Turin against a backdrop of the snow-capped Alps.
The line was opened on the 27th April 1884 as a cable driven rack railway of the Agudio system. In this system a cable ran along the side of the track and passed around two large pulleys on the side of the cars, which in turn drove the cog wheels that propelled the train. After an accident, the line was converted to a conventional electric rack railway and re-opened on the 16th April 1935. Along the line the guides for the previous cables can still be found.
The line is 3.1km (1.9mi) long, is of standard gauge, and overcomes a difference in height of 419m (1375ft) with a maximum gradient of 20%.
Sassi is reachable by bus 60 or tram 15.
The tramline was built in l884 as a funicular railway but was changed into the present rack tramway in the 1930s. I think the tram in the photo was built in 1934.Related to:
- Historical Travel
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