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San Giorgio Monferrato


A municipality in the province of Alessandria, a village built and concentrated around its castle which is located in a dominant position and is considered by many historians the oldest fortress of the Monferrato area. The town was mentioned for the first time in a document of 999. Since ancient times it belonged to the district of Sant'Evasio, and all rights on the village were ceded to the Bishop of Vercelli by Frederick Barbarossa. Over the years it submitted the domain of several local lords, until in the XIII the rule was ceded to Robert Avogadro of Collobiano. In the early XIV century it seems that the inhabitants gained a certain autonomy and in the second half of the same century, the town was donated to the Marquis of Monferrato by Charles IV of Bohemia. In 1464 it became property of the Marquis of Carretto and in the next century of Flaminio Palaeologo. The castle was the seat of the Court of the Inquisition: in the first half of the XVI century, more than 30 people were tortured and sentenced here, accused of widespread of the infection of the plague in the area. From 1600 the fate of San Giorgio was tied to events of the nearby town of Casale, both disputed between Savoy and Gonzaga. The conquest of the hill with its castle was an essential step for the control of surrounding territory. Finally in the mid XVII century the building was ceded by the Salvati to the Gozani.

Not to miss:
- the Parish Church of San Giorgio, built between the late XVIII and early XIX centuries, on the ruins of a pre-existing religious building, a small church dedicated to the Virgin, adjacent to the old castle walls. It was ordered by the Marquis Gozani, and was the reason of a long dispute with the local city council. The Bell tower was built around 1820 with materials that derived from two demolished ancient churches;
- the Church of Our Lady of Snow, known as the Madonna del Bricco, built in 1474 on the remains of the church of San Grato;
- the Church of San Rocco, mentioned in historical documents dating back to 1635, but certainly built at an earlier time, it was used as a hospital;
- the Castle, which dates back to the XIII century.


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