Today we are visiting a site that has great historical importance to the Waldensians: Chanforan.
Although nowadays we can only see the stone monument, we have to pay particular attention to the ground the monument leans on.
When a group of “barba” met together here for an important meeting in 1532 ‘cause they had to discuss about important matters, there was nothing in this place but a field of grass.
What does “Chanforan” mean?
At that time (as for a long, long time afterwards) in this region French was the common language, and probably the name of this place is a French word that stands for the “forensic”, which is the place ancient Romans used to gather in to discuss about important questions and issues.
The meeting that took place here was very important to Waldensians because, apart from “barba” coming from the Waldensian areas (Piedmont, Calabria, Provence), the whole community was invited to take part to the assembly.
Some decisions had to be made about the guidelines Waldensians had to follow in religious – and in other – spheres… just like it happens nowadays every year during the Waldensian Synod.
In 1532 Waldensians took some very important decisions.
First, they decided to join the Protestant Reformation (in those years many people changed their religious denomination, moving from Catholicism to Protestantism).
Furthermore, they decided to publish the French translation of the Bible.
What was decided in Chanforan that day may seem little to us, but it changed forever history and life of Waldensian people living in this valley.
How to get here:
from Provincial Road 161, between Torre Pellice and Luserna San Giovanni, at the roundabout take the road to Angrogna (you’ll also find the traffic signals to Guieiza d’la Tana, Chabas and Vaccera). Follow the road and you’ll get to the main square of San Lorenzo, then continue for about 1.8 km you will arrive in the hamlet of Serre. Turn right until the beginning of the trail with signs “Chanforan” and “Odin”. Continue up to the monument.