Located between the dome of the Cathedral and the upper floor of the Royal Palace, there is no question that this chapel, built between 1667 and 1673 under the directions of architect Guarino Guarini, is a place of high spiritual intensity - regardless of personal opinions about the authenticity of theShroud, the cloth that, it is said, would have wrapped the body of Christ in the tomb. Obviously the building was designed as a tribute to the mystery of religious asceticism, but it is also true that its construction required the solving of complex engineering problems.
After a serious fire devastated the Chapel in 1997, the Shroud remained in the Cathedral, where it had previously been moved to allow restoration works. The tour of the Chapel is part of the Royal Museums Trail.
On entering the chapel, you can see the light streaming in from the conical-pyramid shaped dome, which is supported by a high tholobate with six arched windows. The dove of the Holy Sprit is illuminated by the oval windows on the roof lantern. As you look up and try to make out the pattern of hexagons that combine to create a kaleidoscopic effect around the twelve-point star, you may feel a slight sensation of vertigo. The mathematics of the design have a precise meaning. The numbers are all based on three, its multiples and their geometric transpositions.
The Chapel is decorated with 19th-century marble sculptures depicting four ancestors of Charles Albert of Savoy: Emmanuel Philibert, Prince Thomas and, in the part that faces the Royal Palace, Charles Emmanuel II and Amadeus VIII.
On the side opposite the entrance, beyond the glass, you can see the interior of the Cathedral from above; the twin staircases connecting the ends of the naves to the Chapel are not accessible to the public.