Today I want to tell you about the history of the Temple of Pramollo, in Val Chisone.
Pramollo is located in a valley between Val d’Angrogna and Val San Martino and its name derives from Pratum molle, because it’s rich of lawns and water sources.
During the 16th Century, this valley was the only still Catholic, whereas the whole area had adhered to the Reformation. In 1573 things started to change: a Sunday, the pastor of San Germano, Francesco Guardino, arrived in Pramollo during the Mass. After the rite, the pastor invited the local parish priest to thoroughly explain the meaning of the Mass. The poor clergyman wasn’t prepared at all and made a fool of himself, so the pastor succeeded in persuade the worshippers to adopt the Reformed Christianism.
The first chronicled temple in Pramollo dates back to 1599, but, as all the other temples in the Valleys, it was destroyed after the banishment of the Waldensians of 1686. After the Glorious Repatriation (Glorioso rimpatrio in italian) a small worship place was built in the Ruâ hamlet. It has been used until 1840, when the Waldensians decided to replace it with a bigger one.
Due to the good financial resources, they resolved to follow a grand project, with a oval shape building immediately called “the rotunda”. However, this place of worship was erected on a precarious soil which caused many stuctural problems in a short time, and so, after just a few years, it was abandoned.
Then, the Waldensians decided to build the temple in a different place and to recycle some of the materials used for the rotunda, that they had to demolish. Looking back, this was a good choice, because the new temple arrived intact to the present days. The rectangular building is very basic, and the columns you can see at the entrance are 4 of the 6 that made part of the old temple, just as the sofisticated wooden pulpit that is located into this new structure.
How to get here
From Pinerolo take the road to San Germano Chisone. Arrived there, follow the directions to Pramollo (Strada Provinciale 168).
When you’ll be in the square of Ruà hamlet, you’ll view in front of you one of the sides of the temple.