Arsenal of Peace - Turin, Italy

It once was an arsenal of war, a factory of weapons, but, since 1983, the free work of thousands of people transformed it into an Arsenal of Peace.
So, now it is an “urban monastery”, a place for cooperation and search for difficult answers. It is also a home, open to the world and always ready to host anyone in need.
A house for young people who are searching for a workshop of ideas, a space of meeting, culture, dialogue and self-growth.
The Arsenal of Peace is dedicated to the now deceased Father Michele Pellegrino, former archbishop of Turin.

Today, its doors are always open on the world: twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. It aims at spreading a prophecy of peace through its role of meeting point for different cultures, religions and opinions, bringing them together to talk and find shared goals. It is a reference point for young people who want to give a meaning to their lives, it is a house always open to those who are looking for help: from lone mothers to former prisoners, from foreign people to whoever needs medical assistance, a roof or a job. The Arsenal is a place of prayer in which everyone can stop to meet God in silence. It is a dream come true that allows whoever desires it to share something: from their time to their professionalism, to material and spiritual goods. The result of all this is millions of people helping millions of people.

The Arsenal was built in 1580 as a gunpowder factory, then it changed its function during time. After a fire happened on the 26th of April 1852, the building was then turned into “Arsenal of Artillery of Turin”, the first weapon factory in the history of Italy, at the behest of king Victor Emmanuel II. The new complex covered an area of 45.000 square metres and employed up to 5000 workers. A large part of the weapons used both by the Savoy army and Italy during the battles of Risorgimento and the World Wars was produced there. Then, after being abandoned at the end of the Second World War, the Arsenal was given to the young people of Sermig, who decided to transform it into a place of peace. A thousand people, both young and adults, came from all Italy and also from abroad to help refurbish it with their voluntary work and goodwill. Thus, the Arsenal of Peace was created, as an always-open house and the heart of a solidarity network spread all around the world.

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