1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Biella
BIELLA, a town and episcopal see of Piedmont, Italy, in the province of Novara, 55 m. N.E. of Turin by rail, and 38 m. direct, situated on the S. edge of the lower Alps. Pop. (1901) town, 3454; commune, 19,267. The old town (1558 ft.) lies on a hill above the new town, and is reached from it by a cable tramway. It has fine palaces with decorations in terra-cotta; and a modern bath establishment is situated here. The new town contains the 15th-century cathedral and the fine Renaissance church of S. Sebastiano; near the former is a baptistery of the 9th century. It is a considerable manufacturing centre for woollens, silks and cottons, electric power being furnished by the torrents descending from the mountains at the foot of which it lies. It is frequented as a tourist centre, and several hydropathic establishments and mountain resorts lie in the vicinity.