The Basilica di Sant'Andrea is the church of a monastery in Vercelli, Piedmont, northern Italy, founded in 1219 by Cardinal Guala Bicchieri and completed in 1227. It represents an early example of Gothic architecture in Italy, inspired by Cistercian models and featuring Romanesque elements as well.Take a look at our Vercelli trip itinerary maker site to schedule your visit to Basilica di Sant'Andrea and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
The basilica was built between 1219 and 1227 at the direction of Cardinal Guala Bicchieri, who had just returned from England where he had been papal legate. Bicchieri had received from King Henry III the perpetual rights to the income of Saint Andrew's Abbey in Chesterton, Cambridge. Thanks to this financial support, the cardinal was able to call to Vercelli some monks from Saint-Victor in Paris, giving them responsibility over the new abbey and the hospital to be built for the pilgrims who travelled the Via Francigena. The hospital was begun in 1224. Although the architect is unknown, it is presumed that the Gothic lines of the new edifice were introduced by the French clerics, who included abbot Thomas Gallus, previously a professor in the University of Paris. According to Italian art historian Giulio Carlo Argan, the architect could have been Benedetto Antelami. The style of the Romanesque elements connects the building to the architectural traditions of northern Italy and suggest the hand of an Italian master in the design.
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