Those who enter the part of Rossana, developed on the foundations of the medieval village, and struck by the vision of the church's front that emerges noble and light on the array of houses arranged almost in series on both sides of the sacred building His Gothic line, so different from the other churches in the district, mostly 'baroque, awakens the interest of the visitor and gives the building a sense of religious simplicity 'and austerity', while the structure of climb of its facade seems to express a call for elevation.
Its architecture is adorned with many pinnacles reminiscent of French Gothic churches, sisters, rich, of high rank, such as the cathedral of Rouen, with a distinct site on the high spire of Beizier and Lion with the oculus inserted into the cusp. But if the church of Rossana is not 'that the humble sister of the French cathedrals, it must be stressed, however, the harmony of the proportions of its facade and interior composed and collected. The origin of this church, 'according to historians due to the eleventh century, and as' confirmed by the discovery, during the recent restorations of two limestone shelves, hidden by layers of plaster and brickwork of different color and texture, the base of the arch.
One of the shelves and placed precisely that right now the arch, door facade is decorated with bas-relief of Romanesque intonation, the other to the left and you 'engraved with a date: 1104. These two sculptures were almost certainly included as support brackets in the entrance portal of the early church which occupied only the space of the chancel and the choir today. At the same Romanesque belongs to the key stone that connects the four curbs of the vaulted ceiling, on the 'altar.
The simplicity 'and the size of the early church can be found in the sober line of the apse of the century. XII movement to which they give only the two rustic foothills of the discharge vault, the modest terracotta frieze, later restored and rebuilt the egg around 600. In the fourteenth century the church was lengthened by two bays, perhaps acresciute to meet the needs of the population. It was built with a single nave, lighted by windows to splay on the sides, with a gabled roof and beamed ceiling with visible lines of the ancient Roman, the facade was then naked, simple, without any decoration except for the window still seen in high, on-axis to the roof ridge.
You do not have sufficient evidence to stabilitare where he was then the entrance to the church as on the present churchyard extended the campostanto. You can 'also assume then that the entrance was on the north side of the classroom, with a rise to the first span after the presbytery and not' rare indeed in this era the case of the side entrances to avoid treading on sacred ground of cemeteries in front of the churches.
An examination of the structures on the north side there is indeed the existence of an ancient door in this position. Perhaps it was here in the '300 localizzazato an entrance that was later transformed into the '600 creating a new venue with a beautiful vault and opening more 'modest Only in the fifteenth century, moved the cemetery more' downstream create 'a churchyard and try 'to beautify the outside giving an impression Gothic church: er built gradioso the portal, the oculus, the cusp, the side pillars topped by spiers and arched frieze of the cornice which continued even on the sides.
Prove this statement is the different structure between the front wall and the pillars, and the placement of the entire portal and asymmetric random with respect to the cusp ridge of the roof and the window trecentesca.Simultaneamente inside, to achieve better coverage, were included along the sides of the two half-brick church with cubic capitals and bases annular who had the task of supporting the Gothic arches on which they were resting on the vaults of the two spans. In this same period, in order to consolidate the external pressures caused in correspondence of the interior arches were built in brick ontrafforti which can still be seen to emerge from the roofs on the two sides of the building constructed in the following successive enlargements.
The Romanesque bell tower decorated with friezes in simple brick on stone structure, was restored and the two openings were inserted Gothic. Only in the seventeenth century was raised with the current belfry. The frescoes representing facial St. Christopher and St. Bernard of Menton were painted later, perhaps already 'in sec. XVI.
In sec. XVII were opened, the side walls of the classroom, to create, in a new space acquired, the four altars, altering the previous architecture in the demolition and sacrificing the features splayed Romanesque windows that illuminated the environment. The space where you will find the current sacristy and the grotto of Lourdes, was built between 1700 and 1800, while the old sacristy on the left of the high altar was enlarged and converted into a chapel with an altar built in the early modern of our century.
In 1759 was built by the carpenter Joseph Revelli Rossana grandstand was installed the organ that closed the central oculus of the cusp and the benches were redone. In 1926 he was restored the exterior and in particular the frame of the portal and the frieze of the cornice under the guidance of the architect. Mesturino, commissioned by oprintendenza Monuments of Turin.
In the spring of 1965, with the approval of the Superintendent, the Rev.. Pastor Don Joseph Ribero with the cooperation of the parishioners proceeded to remake the floor of the church was made of stone slabs largely broken and disjointed, replacing it with a quartzite paving of Norway.
While removing dela ground for the laying of the foundation gravel came to light, in the aisle at the altar of the Sacred Heart priests of ancient tomb containing five coffins which the four more 'down and were totally undone with a few bone fragments while the overlying preserved the skeleton of a priest, clothed in robes, with humble shoes marginally surrounded by large nails. His hands were still crossed the rosary.
On the opposite side of the aisle, before the altar of Our Lady of the Rosary, he found the tomb of the Lords of the place, perhaps the first Conti Gazzelli, containing the remains of which now only a few long thigh bones and skulls.
Another skeleton, probably of some priest was found in the space between the altar and the choir. It is not found traces of identification for any of the buried: the tombs were sealed and left on site. At the same annofu also arranged the external staircase to access the portal that not having base was rough and bumpy.
In the land of the steps below were found numerous skulls, more than two dozen neatly arranged with no other remains. It was supposedly a charnel house situated therein when they proceeded to the first expansion of the early church with the displacement of the old cemetery. This finding lends support to the entrance to the church until the four were on the left side, where he spent the connecting road to the castle while on the west and south sides stretched the cemetery.