Around the year 1200 the bishop
of Turin had a big influence
on most of the feudal lords.
For example the lords of Verzuolo,
which had some property around
Becetto up to the pass” Colle del Prete”.
The constitution of the parish S. Maria
had been asked by the inhabitants
of Becetto, because the population
and at the same time it was a big effort
to go down to Sampeyre every time.
Actually this demand was also useful
to the lords of Verzuolo to fortify their power in a period
in which the marquis of Saluzzo were getting more and more
influence on the valley floor.
Since its building, the church of Becetto, that was under
the authority of the abbey Rivalta, was a centre of big devotions.
The pilgrims made a long way to arrive there.
We know for example that there was a pilgrimage
from Vercelli to Becetto in the year 1219.
During the war for the succession of the Austrian throne,
Becetto was an important point in the defensive lines
against a French invasion.
In the year 1744 Carlo Emanuele di Savoia fixed here
A memorial tablet walled-up in the ancient priorate
of the church still remembers this event.
Chapel of Saint Bernard
The origins of this chapel, restored by the hands of voluntary workers,
are not surely known.
During the last years it was mostly used as a storehouse.
Surely it was not constructed as a farming building.
Probably it was the mortuary chapel of the ancient cemetery,
which is neighbouring, but it could also be the predecessor of the Sanctuary.
By the inhabitants of Becetto it is called the Saint Bernard´s chapel.
It is mentioned by M. Perotti in his book "Repertorio dei monumenti artistici
della provincial di Cuneo"( vol.IC page 78-80 edition1980-90),
who makes the following description of it:
“This construction describes the work of Romanesque carpenters,
but it is nearly completely abandoned. Certainly it is older then the sanctuary,
and it is a very interesting object for studying the architectonical solutions and wall structures.
On the inside there are no signs of wall paintings or sculptures.”
After the reconstruction we decided to put a little museum in it,
even if there is not much space.
At the centre of the room you will find the old mechanic clockwork,
that counted the ours for everyone until the 1970´s.
Like this the chapel can continue to be a testimony of the time that passes.