© Stephen E. Jones
Locations of the Shroud: Turin 1578-1694
This is the entry, "Locations of the Shroud: Turin 1578-1694," in my Turin Shroud Encyclopedia. Previous entries in this series were: "Locations: Lirey c.1355-Chambéry 1471," and "Locations: Chambéry 1471-Turin 1578." I am working through the topics in the entry, "Shroud of Turin, expanding on them.
Introduction. This is the third of a five-part series of entries which will briefly trace the locations of the cloth today known as Shroud of Turin, from its first appearance in undisputed history (see previous) at Lirey, France in c.1355, to its current location since 1578 (apart from short periods due to wars) in or around St John the Baptist Cathedral, Turin, Italy. It is partly based on my 2012 post, "The Shroud's location."
Chambéry-Turin (1578-1604). On 14 September 1578 the Shroud arrived in Turin, carried at the head of a triumphal procession by four Archbishops. Three weeks later Cardinal Charles Borromeo (1538–84), Archbishop of Milan, arrived after his pilgrimage on foot from Milan, which was originally to have been over the Alps to Chambéry. But Duke Emmanuel Philibert I of Savoy (1528–80) had seized this as an excuse to bring the Shroud from Chambéry to Turin which he had established as Savoy's capital. The Cardinal was given an informal private viewing of the Shroud where it was being kept, in the Duke's small Chapel of San Lorenzo adjacent to the his palace gardens, over which the
[Right (enlarge): Extract from a 1618-19 plan showing the location (A) of the Duke's private Chapel of San Lorenzo, in which the Shroud was kept from 1578 until a new Chapel of the Holy Shroud (D) would be built between Turin's Cathedral of St John the Baptist (C) and the ducal Palace complex (E).]
current Church of San Lorenzo was built. It was on the Feast Day of St. Lawrence (San Lorenzo), 10 August, in 1557 (see previous) that Duke Emmanuel Philibert defeated the French at the Battle of St. Quentin. The Cardinal expressed his concern that such an important relic was being kept in a small chapel and offered the cathedral, but the Duke demurred as that would imply church jurisdiction over the Shroud. The next day the Cardinal and his retinue were given an official private viewing in Turin Cathedral followed by a public viewing in the the Piazza Castello, Turin's main square (see print below). In 1580 Duke Emmanuel Philibert died in Turin, and was succeeded by his only child, Duke Charles Emmanuel I (1562–1630). In 1582 Cardinal Borromeo had walked a second pilgrimage from Milan to venerate the Shroud in Turin and to mark that occasion the Shroud was first exhibited to the Cardinal and his retinue in a new, larger (but still small) chapel and
[Above (enlarge): Extract from a c.1640 map of Turin by Giovenale Boetto (c.1603-78), showing the Shroud's processional route from the Cathedral (A) to the Piazza Castello (B) in front of the Castle (C). The domed structure upper left is believed to be the larger chapel where the Shroud was kept c.1580-7.]
[Above (enlarge): Print depicting the public exposition of the Shroud in Turin on 13-15 June 1582, to mark the second pilgrimage by Cardinal Charles Borromeo (centre cleric holding the Shroud) to venerate the Shroud in Turin.]
that the Shroud was being kept in a small chapel. The new Duke Charles Emmanuel I agreed that the Shroud should be kept in the Cathedral until a permanent private Savoy Chapel of the Holy Shroud was built between the Palace and the Cathedral - see (D) above. Borromeo's idea was for the Shroud to be mounted above the Cathedral's high altar and to be continuously visible, to obviate it being damaged by continually folding and unfolding it. In 1585 the Duke married Catherine Michelle of Spain (1567–97), a daughter of King Philip II of Spain (1527–98) and Elisabeth de Valois (1545–68) a daughter of King Henry II of France (1519–59). Although Duchess Catherine only lived to age 31, she bore 10 children, 9 of which survived to adulthood. Their second son, Victor Amadeus I (1587–1637) would become the next Duke of Savoy. Cardinal Borromeo died in 1584, and in 1587 the Duke carried through with his idea (albeit less grandiosely) by locating the Shroud in Turin Cathedral, displayed continuously on a shrine supported by four wooden columns over the cathedral's high altar.
Turin (1587-1630). In 1588 Charles Emmanuel I occupied the adjoining Marquisate of Saluzzo, which had been annexed by France following the deposition and death of the last Marquis of Saluzzo, Gian Gabriel I (1501-48). A war with France ensued, until the Treaty of Lyon (1601), in which Saluzzo went to Savoy in exchange for Savoy territories in France. In 1602, Charles Emmanuel attempted a night raid on the city of Geneva to eradicate its Protestants, but it failed with the Savoy army forced to retreat and many Savoyards killed. In 1604, the Shroud was enclosed in a new 4 foot (~1.2 m) long wooden casket, decorated with silver and gold relief plaques of the instruments of the Passion, and rolled up around a velvet-covered staff. This casket would remain the Shroud's container until the 1990s. Every 4th of May, the Feast Day of the Holy Shroud, the Shroud was exhibited publicly in the Piazza Castello. An engraving by Antonio Tempesta (1555–1630) of the
4 May 1613 exposition captures their immense popularity. The Shroud was shown publicly in the Piazza Castello in 1620 to mark the marriage between the Duke Charles Emmanuel I's eldest surviving son, and future Duke, Victor Amadeus with Princess Christine de Bourbon (1606–63) a daughter of the late King Henry IV of France (1553–1610) and sister of the current King Louis XIII (1601–43). In 1630 Duke Charles Emmanuel I died and was succeeded as Duke by his eldest surviving son Victor Amadeus I.
Turin (1630-94). In 1637 Victor Amadeus I died and was succeeded as Duke by his 5 year-old son, Francis Hyacinth (1632–8), with his mother dowager Duchess Christine acting as regent. But Francis in turn died a year later, and was succeeded as Duke by his 4 year-old brother Charles Emmanuel II (1634-75) with Christine continuing to act as regent for him. But two of Victor Amadeus' brothers, Maurice (1593–1657) and Thomas (1596–1656) disputed Christine's regency and her French influence and so with Spanish support they started the Piedmontese Civil War (1639-41). However, Christine was victorious due to French military support. In April 1663 Duke Charles Emmanuel II married Christine's niece Françoise d'Orléans (1648–64). But Christine died in December 1663 and Françoise died childless a week later in January 1664. Charles married in 1665 Marie Jeanne Baptiste de Savoie-Nemours (1644-1724), a descendant of Duke Emmanuel Philibert's brother Jacques (1531–85). In 1666 their only child and future Duke, Victor Amadeus II (1666–1732) was born. In 1668 the architect Guarino Guarini (1624–83) was appointed to construct the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, between the Royal Palace and Turin cathedral, as envisaged in 1618-19 by Duke Charles Emmanuel II (see above). Duke Charles Emmanuel II died in 1675 and was succeeded as Duke by the 9 year-old Victor Amadeus II, with his mother dowager Duchess Marie acting as regent. On 6 May 1684 Duke Victor Amadeus II married Anne Marie de Orléans (1669–1728). She was a daughter of Philippe I, Duke of Orléans (1640–1701), who was a son of King Louis XIII of France, and Henrietta Stuart (1644-70), who was a daughter of the late King Charles I of England (1600-49). The marriage took place in Chambéry, and two days later the newlyweds entered Turin, celebrated by a public exposition of the Shroud (see below). However,
[Above (enlarge): Painting by Pieter Bolckmann (1640-1705) of the public exposition of the Shroud in Turin's Piazza Castello on 8 May 1684, to mark the wedding of Duke Victor Amadeus II and Anne Marie de Orléans].
Duchess Anne did not bear a son who survived to adulthood until 1701 (as we shall see).
Continued in the entry, "Locations of the Shroud: Turin 1694-1918."
1. Scott, J.B., 2003, "Architecture for the Shroud: Relic and Ritual in Turin," University of Chicago Press: Chicago & London, p.63. [return]
2. Scott, 2003, pp.66, 225. [return]
3. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, plate 30b. [return]
4. "The Origins of the Shroud of Turin," Medievalists.net, 24 October 2014. [return]
5. Wilson, 2010, plate 31a. [return]
6. Scott, 2003, p.239. [return]
• Jones, S.E., 2015, "Savoy Family Tree," Ancestry.com.au (members only).
• Scott, 2003, pp.62-71.
• Wilson, I., 1996, "A Calendar of the Shroud for the years 1509-1694," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 44, November/ December.
• Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.290-293.
• Wilson, 2010, pp.246, 260-264, 304-305.
Created: 8 April, 2015. Updated: 8 May, 2015.