Le Camere del Seminario

The Episcopal Seminary

The “Episcopal Seminary” was founded in 1567 by the bishop Leonardo Marino (1566-1572). The original building was next to the bishop’s palace.

Its first regulation was written by Monsignor Brizio who tried to restore seminarists’ life through a strong recall to learning, spirituality and a honest life.

Thanks to Monsignor Vasco’s work, the Seminary was built up and it could host until 100 seminarists (1727-1750).

Monsignor Virgilio Natta, who would become cardinal, built the Seminary up beyond: in fact, the seminarists’ rooms, a spacious dining hall and an auditorium were built from 1750 to 1768.

The Seminary was finally completed in 1778 when Giuseppe Maria Lagnasco was the bishop.

Le Camere del Seminario(1) Le Camere del Seminario(2) Le Camere del Seminario(3)

At the beginning of the XIX century, a period of decay followed: the Seminary was pillaged and damned, its goods were alienated and the diocese was abolished. Moreover, the French troops used it as a military residence and then they pillaged it. An official petition asking for its relaunch was sent to Napoleon: the Seminary reopened in 1818 and its restoration started in 1819.

From the middle of the XIX century the nucleus of the old city was transformed in order to make Alba a modern urban centre. First of all, works of alignment and regularization of main roads and places were realized in order to join the urban decoration wished for at least 20 years. One of the first interventions concerned the Seminary: in fact, in 1844 the architect Busca, who graduated 3 years before, succeeded the engineer Vandero. His work was consecrated to extend the building. Constructing a new building in the place was the first step.

Busca’s project called for the demolition of some secondary parts of the pre-existing building and the construction of a new orthogonal sleeve. It would be a little more exceeding and it would be an adequate background to Piazza del Teatro. It was still occupied by old constructions, belonging to the Seminary, which would be ceded to the municipality in 1857. Later, they would be demolished and the front of the new building was finally free.

Busca projected a simple building, characterized by angular bosses and by the shelf-cornice. Besides, the entrance of the building was characterised by four columns with their capitals and basis and on its top there was a balustrade. Moreover, the lintels and the arches over the windows allowed the entrance to be the focal point of the structure. In 1851 the facade was finished and in 1870 the internal sleeve was realised.


The religious house “The Seminary” is located in the very heart of Alba city centre. It is only 10 minutes away from the railway station and it is also reachable by car.

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