The Waldensian Cultural Center Foundation is located in Torre Pellice, in the street named after the English general Charles Beckwith, a figure who played an important role in Waldensian history. In the same street there are the main Waldensian buildings of the town: the temple, the houses known as “professors’ houses”; the “Unionist House”; the Waldensian House, seat of the annual Synod of the Italian Waldensian-Methodist Churches; the European High School “Collegio Valdese”; the “Foresteria Valdese” holiday home.
The Center was born in 1989, bringing together under a single management a rich historical and cultural heritage that was previously fragmented, to make it available to a wider public: the library, the museum, the archives, the collections. Located in the heart of the so-called “Waldensian Valleys”, the Center is located in a border area and, in the context of a European reality under construction, aims to be a place of encounter and comparison in a spirit of cultural pluralism.
The Waldensian museum, founded in 1889, has been renovated several times and divided into two sections: a historical one, which illustrates the eight centuries of the troubled history of the Waldensians; the other, of an ethnographic nature, which documents daily life in the Waldensian Valleys between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Since 1999, the museum has been the leader of the Eco-Historical Museum System of the Waldensian Valleys, a series of memorial sites and small museums scattered throughout the Waldensian Valleys, which document elements of Waldensian history and material culture in various ways. The museum is included in the “Abbonamento Musei Torino Piemonte” circuit; it has a bookshop and the entrance ticket includes audio guides in four languages.
A rich exhibition activity is divided into three areas: the Paolo Paschetto Room dedicated to the artist’s collection (1885-1963, author of the coat of arms of the Italian Republic), consisting of 140 works including oils, watercolors and engravings; the Ippolito Collection, made up of archaeological finds from the Greek, Egyptian, Italic and Roman civilizations; an exhibition space “A window on …” for exhibitions on issues relating to the territory of the Waldensian Valleys. Recent programming of temporary exhibitions connected with the museum collections.
Upon reservation, it welcomes with guided tours in various languages to the museum, temples and historical sites of the Waldensian Valleys.
The activities offered to the public by the Center during the year are very varied: exhibitions, conferences, seminars, conferences, historical walks, training courses in the historical minority languages of the Valleys: Occitan and French.
The Center also offers information material on the history and material culture of the Waldensian Valleys, on the Waldensian Churches and on Protestantism.
Sul Web: http://www.fondazionevaldese.org