The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, completed in 1498 to a design by the Tuscan Renaissance architect Meo del Caprino, is a fine building in its own right, as well as being well known for housing the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, which was added later. The façade itself is elegantly symmetrical, with gently curving elements surmounting the three entrance doors and fine reliefs on the portals.
The luminous Latin-cross interior still has a predominantly Gothic structure, with chapels housing pictorial and sculptural works from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. In the counter-façade is the tomb of Joan of Orlier de la Balme, a lady of the court who died in 1478.
In the first chapel on the right-hand nave is the 'Madonna Grande' or Blessed Virgin of the Snow, a fifteenth-century statue in painted terracotta. It is followed by the chapel of Saints Ursus, Crispin and Crispinian, which houses an elaborate sixteenth-century altarpiece, the Nursing Virgin and Child, transformed into a polyptych a century later.
The right wing is surmounted by a monumental eighteenth-century choir made from carved, gilded wood, while the marble statues of St Christina and St Therese are two beautifully-crafted examples of early 18th-century French sculpture. To the left is the Royal Tribune, below which the case containing the shroud is preserved. The cloth, laid out in a controlled atmosphere, is not on public display.
The Chapel of the Holy Shroud is part of the Royal Museums Trail.