LivingTravelSeeing the Shroud of Turin in Italy

Seeing the Shroud of Turin in Italy

Visitors to the northern Italian city of Turin, or Turin, may wonder where and how they can see the Shroud of Turin, the famous linen cloth that many believe once wrapped the body of the dead Christ. The short answer is that you can visit a museum dedicated to the shroud, as well as the church where the shroud is located, but at the moment, you cannot see the religious relic itself.

What is the Turin shroud?

The Turin Shroud, called “La Sindone” in Italian, is one of the most revered and controversial religious icons in Italy and perhaps in all of Christendom. The icon is an old linen cloak with the image of a crucified man. The shroud has a rectangular pattern from where it bent over the centuries, as well as the discernible impressions of a man’s face, hands, feet, and torso, with what are presumably bloodstains consistent with wounds of the crucifixion. The cover print also shows a wound on the side of the man’s body, consistent with the wound supposedly inflicted on Jesus Christ.

Those who believe in the authenticity of the shroud worship it as an image of Jesus, and believe that this is the cloth that was used to wrap his crucified body.

The earliest records of the shroud’s existence date from the mid-1300s, although it may have been stolen from Constantinople (modern Istanbul) during the Crusades of the 1200s. It was already venerated in France in the late 1300s and early 1900s. 1400, came into the hands of the Royal Savoy family. In 1583, it was transferred to Turin (Torino) Italy, where it was safeguarded for four centuries. In 1983, the family officially gifted the shroud to Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Church.

Is the Shroud of Turin authentic?

There have been numerous studies on the Shroud. In fact, it may be the most studied religious artifact in the world. The most reliable studies date the shroud to around the 11th or 12th centuries, more than 1,000 years after Jesus Christ lived and died. Skeptics argue that the Turin Shroud is an artistically produced forgery, intentionally created to have the appearance of a Christ-era burial cloth.

Those who believe in the authenticity of the cover argue that damage over the centuries, including during a 1532 fire and several clumsy restoration attempts, has corrupted the cover to the point that no scientific analysis can provide a reliable dating. of the cloth. The Catholic Church itself has refused to pass judgment on the authenticity of the shroud, but encourages its worship as a means of remembering the teachings and sufferings of Jesus Christ. For the faithful, the shroud remains a sacred relic with deep spiritual significance.


Seeing the Shroud of Turin

After all that, it is not actually possible to see the actual Shroud of Turin, although the replicas and exhibits in the Museum of the Shroud do an excellent job of explaining the shroud and its mysteries. Currently, the museum is open every day from 9 am to 12:30 pm and from 3 pm to 7 pm (last entry one hour before closing). The current ticket is € 6 for adults and € 3 for children from 6 to 12 years old. Children under 5 years old are free.

Artifacts related to the Shroud and information about its complicated history and the various studies that have been carried out are on display. There is an audio guide available in 5 languages and a bookstore. The museum is in the crypt of the Church of SS. Shroud, Via San Domenico 28.

The royal Shroud of Turin is housed in the Cathedral, or Duomo of Turin, in a climate-controlled case in a chapel built just to hold it up. Due to its extremely fragile state, the shroud is not visible to the public except during very rare public views – the last time it was on public display was during a 2015 exhibition attended by millions of visitors. So although people still travel to Turin to learn and / or venerate the Shroud, they cannot actually see the relic.

Things to do in Turin

The Shroud of Turin is just one reason to visit Turin (Torino), a city with a very interesting history and a lot to see. Check out our Turin Travel Guide for more information on what to see and do in Turin.

Article updated by Elizabeth Heath

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