Photographer's Note

Abbey of San Galgano - Chiusdino (SI)
Historical information
The abbey of San Galgano is a Cistercian abbey, located about thirty kilometers from Siena, in the municipality of Chiusdino.
The construction of the abbey downstream begins in 1218, by workers already employed for Casamari, and ends in 1217. The construction site is opened by Donnus Joannes, the same who had followed the construction of Casamari; in 1229 he gave the guide to other monks to follow the construction of the attached mills. Probably the execution was entirely supervised by the monks, under the guidance of a religious who summed up the office of worker and architect ("magister lapidus" and "magister operis"), as is customary for Cistercian abbeys . A first substantial nucleus had already been built in 1224, the year in which “abbatiam novam Sancti Galgani” is mentioned; the construction probably ended after 1341. The consecration, by the abbot Rainerio di Belforte dates back to 1288, as evidenced by an epigraph contained therein.
The construction of the Abbey gives rise to the progressive affirmation of the Cistercians, first in the territorial area of strict relevance and later in the wider provincial context.
In 1292, the monastic community was subjected to city protection.
The uncertainties of the late thirteenth century lead to a drop in the religious population from 60 monks in 1278 to 36 in 1296; at the end of the 14th century the concrete process of decline of the monastic organism began. This is due to the frequent raids of the Florentine mercenary armies intent on taking revenge against Siena, and above all the plague which finds a rapid vehicle for propagation in the poor hygienic habits, typical of monastic communities.
On 22 August 1348 it was forced to open sacred celebrations to the laity evidently due to the lack of monks. At the same time the specter of the commendam is becoming more and more impending, which coincides for all the abbeys with the final ruin. Despite Siena's frequent attempts to increase its rights over the community in order to make ecclesiastical management useless, in 1503 a commendatory abbot was proclaimed by Julius II, in the person of Cardinal Federico Sanseveroni. The inattentive administration, the ever-increasing danger of the place determine the abandonment, by the monks, of the original seat and the transfer to the city at the Palazzo di S. Galgano, begun to build in 1474. In 1576 the bishop of Rimini, on a visit to the abbey, he finds the monument in the process of being destroyed and only a monk still present, who no longer wears the habit appropriate to his condition. The decline culminated in 1781 with the collapse of the vaults of the roof of the abbey church, in 1786 with the ruin of the bell tower, in 1789 with the ecclesiastical sentence of profanation.
The site consists of the hermitage (called “Rotonda di Montesiepi”) and the large abbey, now completely in ruins and reduced to just the walls, a destination for tourists. The lack of a roof - which highlights the articulation of the architectural structure - unites the abbey in this to those of Melrose and Kelso in Scotland, of Tintern in England, of Cashel in Ireland and of Eldena in Germany.
It is a jewel of Romanesque art, a splendid Cistercian abbey that now has a lawn as its floor and the sky as its roof. Historical News
The abbey has a Latin cross plan with three naves, with the apse oriented to the east and eight passages on each side in the longer arm of the cross, on which the two rectangular plan bays open. From the architectural point of view it perfectly corresponds to the criteria of the Rule of the Cistercian Order both in the choice of the construction site (vast plain, with no surrounding inhabited areas, close to important waterways) and for its plant which is identical to that of Casamari (its mother abbey) is part of the Clairvaux line: the only variant is the square apse, which is also very common in Italy, recalling the environment of Citeaux.
Particular compared to the other Cistercian abbeys is the position of the refectory, which is not located on the side of the cloister facing the church but in the extension of the transept at the southern end of the monastic building. It is made of various materials, such as travertine, particularly used for exteriors, brick and nestled stone.
From a structural point of view, there is a strong link with the Lombard vaulted basilica, a common element of the first and most important Cistercian churches in Italy; French style features are only partial and limited to decorative elements.

Fis2, ikeharel, pierrefonds, jhm, PiotrF, COSTANTINO, papagolf21, PaulVDV, Energysavingelk ha puntuado esta nota como útil.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 17796 W: 130 N: 37442] (203748)
  • Genre: Lugares
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2007-09-02
  • Exposición: f/0.7, 30 segundos
  • Versión de la foto: Versión original, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2020-10-07 0:26
Viewed: 0
Points: 42
Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 17796 W: 130 N: 37442] (203748)
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