Collegiate of Saint Orso was built upon an old necropolis, where during the 5th century an Early-Christian building was built. During the 9th century the church was completely rebuilt and enlarged.
The Romanesque church was realized by bishop Anselmo around year 1000: the building is split in three naves and just as many apses. The church was surrounded by a boundary wall, to which also belonged the current bell tower, built during the 12th century. To this period also belong the Romanesque crypt and the Ottonian frescoes in the attic.
During the 15th century the church was renovated thanks to the support of Giorgio of Challant, Prior of Saint Orso and great humanist-benefactor. To this period belong the chairs and the glass-colored windows in the choir, the cross vaults and other decorative tiles on the facade and the construction of the Priorate, the only building in the Aosta Valley made in terra-cotta.
The crown jewel of the monumental complex of Saint Orso is certainly the Romanesque cloister built during the 12th century, when in 1132 Pope Innocence II imposed the rule of Saint Augustine on the canons of Saint Orso. The sculpted capitals depict symbolic scenes from the Old and New Testaments, the life of Saint Orso, and imaginative characters or animals or decorative elements.
Close to the church is placed the Priory of Saint Orso built by George of Challant, as luxurious residence used for representation. The particularity of this building is the facade in Renaissance style, with the window frames decorated by terracotta panels. Inside the frescoes of the chapel are worth noticing works created by end of the 15th century.
The chapel depict the legend of Saint George killing then dragon and freeing the princess and the conversion to Christianity.
The building is a mix between new and old, between Renaissance style and Gothic architecture.
Discover here the guided tour of the Roman and Medieval town of Aosta
Opening Days and times in Saint’Orso cloister
From April to September – every day 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
From October to March – every day 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cloister + frescoes + chapel € 5,00
Cloister + frescoes € 3,50
Cloister € 1,00
Confidential prices for people with a local tour guide
Free: for children under 6 years old