DomodossolaIl borgo della cultura (Cultural Precinct)

In recent years, Domodossola has been the subject of a redevelopment project of the historical centre inscribed in the ancient 14th-century city walls, a pentagonal layout whose defensive centrepiece was the castle. Some sections of the walls are still visible and well-preserved today, such as the ancient Medieval Tower of Domodossola at the intersection of Via Facchinetti and Via Monte Grappa: with a square base and built with gneiss blocks, the Medieval Tower of Domodossola has a portico at the top that rests on eight pillars and is covered by a four-sloping roof. At the base is an amphitheatre, a venue for concerts, theatrical performances and educational activities.

Borgo della Cultura ( Cultural Precinct), which is closed to traffic, is the result of all the architectural enhancement work carried out on the medieval core of the town. The Cultural Precinct starts with Piazza Mercato (Market Square), an open-air living room with an irregular and asymmetrical outline, with its 15th-century porticoes, balconies, loggias, sculpted capitals and Gothic and Romanesque arches bearing the coats of arms of the notable Ossola families.

The market held here is a very old tradition that also attracts people from Switzerland every Saturday.

From Piazza Mercato starts the beautiful street of via Briona, with its houses with typical stone roofs. Via Briona was historically the merchants’ street, and small shops and boutiques can still be found here.

Historical buildings

The medieval village

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Domodossola and Surroundings

Church of San Quirico
Situated on the southern slope of the Mattarella hill, it is one of the oldest churches in the Ossola Valley, with architectural features dating back to the 10th or 11th century; stone walls, wooden ceiling and beautiful frescoes in the apse area.

Palazzo Silva
Not far from the Market Square, the palace is an aristocratic Renaissance architecture, listed as a National Monument.
Palazzo Silva is now home to a Civic Museum of Art and History. Of particular note is the 14th-century spiral staircase in stone, which separates the floors of the palace from the basement. A small courtyard called the ‘marble court’ houses ancient coats of arms and stone artefacts.

Palazzo San Francesco
The palace was built on the plan of the Church of Saint Francesco, which dates back to the end of the 13th century. A meticulous restoration project has transformed the building into a museum. On the ground floor the thirteenth-century Franciscan church is dedicated to temporary exhibitions, on the first floor there is the Museum of Natural Sciences and on the second floor the Art Gallery, the Archaeological section, the Sacred Art and a selection of drawings.

Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Crevoladossola
Standing on a spur of rock and in primitive Romanesque style, it has undergone many transformations over the centuries. The precious stained-glass windows of the
Nordic school, the Crevoladossola marble façade with its refined rose window, and the Renaissance bas-reliefs are just a hint of an architecture that is undoubtedly worth a visit.

Megalithic civilisation in Montecrestese
In the hamlets of Castelluccio and Croppola, there is an interesting archaeological site surrounded by nature where you can admire the magical remains of millennial stone artefacts, imposing quadrangular terraces and groups of menhirs aligned or arranged in a circle.

Sacro Monte Calvario
Domodossola is the starting point for a neighbouring area rich in history and beauty, such as the Sacred Mount Calvario, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The religious site rises above the town and is a place of peace and meditation. Built on the Mattarella hill, it can be reached from the centre of Domodossola via a paved road in the middle of the forest and along the way are the prayer stations, a succession of fifteen chapels.

The Green Train of the Alps
The Green Train of the Alps route connects Domodossola with the Swiss capital, Bern. A day return day ticket allows you on a journey with spectacular views, lasting two hours with a stop in Spiez or Thun and navigation on Lake Thun. The route goes over the Simplon Pass to Brig and the Thermal Baths of Brigerbad, then up the Rhone Valley to Kandersteg in the Bernese Oberland, with its lakes and magnificent peaks. From here, the Green Train of the Alps crosses the beautiful Kander viaduct past Tellenburg Castle. It continues on to Spiez and Thun until it reaches Bern, whose historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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