Today I am in Angrogna (in Torino province) to tell you something about the Waldesian temple which rises up in the middle of the town. As you can see, the name of the temple is traditionally “he one of the centre”, to distinguish from another Waldesian religious building located in the same town, and, because it’s a Protestant worship place, it’s not associated to the name of the hamlet, which is San Lorenzo!
It is said that this is the oldest temple in the Waldesian valleys and in the whole Italy, because the earliest historical statements talking about it tell us that it had been built in 1555 on the basis of a small chapel.
Its history is troubled: it was destroyed in 1561 and immediately rebuilt after the Cavour Agreement, devasted again in 1655 during the so-called Pasque piemontesi (literally “Piedmontese Easters”) and a third time in 1686. Only in 1708 it was reconstructed on the ruins of the older one. In the meanwhile, the rituals took place in a small cabin.
In Nineteenth century it was in an awful condition: the windows hadn’t glasses anymore and were closed by greaseproof paper, and the floor was deprived from tiles, and so on the ground – where wedding and baptisms took place – you could see the tracks and the footprints of the observants. Moreover, there wasn neither the ceil nor a heating system.
Thanks to a benefactor, in 1847 it became possible to proceed with a first restoration, and in 1880 a fence was erected to stop the livestock which used to graze in the temple’s garden.
How to get here:
from Provincial Road 161, between Torre Pellice and Luserna San Giovanni, at the roundabout take the road to Angrogna; follow the road and you’ll get to the main square of San Lorenzo, then turn to right.