In 1070, Gandolfo and Oggero, lords of Canelli, obtained from S. Guido, Bishop of Acqui and theirs relative, permission to build a church in the castle.
Said church, dedicated to S. Michele, was entrusted to the Benedictines of S. Leonardo in the 12th century and protected by the walls, became the main seat of the parish, located in Reg. Aie, Cascina S. Leonardo.
Between 1450 and 1463, after changing the dedication to that of S. Leonardo, it was completely rebuilt alongside the present rectory and reconsecrated together with the cemetery in front of it.
For reasons of instability of the ground, due to the increasing number of worshippers, it was planned to build a new Church on a more stable area.
The construction was under the responsibility of the Confraternity of the Holy Spirit.
The Sardi family donated the plot of land within the walled enclosure of Villanuova and located between the two gates that connected the valleys.
The Municipality decided to wall up and fill the height difference of the Gate in front of St. Roch and bridging the height difference between the ramparts and the first houses by turning the walls into support structures for the new churchyard.
In 1682, under the leadership of master builder Stefano Melchioni, construction of the church was begun, designed by an architect whose name is not recorded in the documents.
In 1694 the main body was completed, in 1691 the bell tower was erected, and in 1694 the facade was finished and plastered with the addition of the squared pronaos that still exists today.
The primitive structure was more longitudinal than the present one because much importance was given to the choir and apse that were to house the meetings of the Confraternity.
In the mid-1700s, the apse and chancel, built on topsoil, threatened to collapse.
In 1747-49, part of the chancel and apse were demolished and this significantly decreasing the area of the chancel shifted toward the nave.
In 1750 work began on aesthetic renovation and stylistic updating that lasted a long time, with the refurbishment of the main altars, the frescoing of the walls and vaults, and the installation of the monumental 19th-century organ, restored in the 1980s.
BeWeb - Beni Ecclesiastici in WEB
- Chiesa di San Leonardo
Comune di Canelli
- EDIFICI RELIGIOSI
- EDIFICI STORICI
Città e Cattedrali
- CHIESA DI SAN LEONARDO
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