didactic
ToURISM
MIDDLE AGE SEEN THROUGH THE ABBEYS
general informations
Il medioevo visto attraverso le abbazie In Macerata Province monasticism met a very fertile ground: there are numerous abbeys scattered throughout the territory in some way related to the teachings of St. Benedict of Nursia.

They are all interesting complexes that have had a great influence on the territory and, by visiting them, students can understand the importance of this fundamental aspect of medieval religious history.

These monasteries were built in quite isolated locations as required by the monastic orders.
They represent different examples of Romanesque architecture magnificence but all of great value. As a matter of fact, in most cases they were built by using building material from the Roman settlements of this area.

Abbeys

San Firmano abbey
(Montelupone - Macerata)

Founded in 986 and rebuilt in 1256, it has a basilica plan on three levels with a very elevated presbytery and a crypt below.

The whole structure is overall very simple, but impressive.

The facade is enriched by a beautiful portal surmounted by a lunette, carved on the back of a Roman statue. There are no remains of the ancient monastery.


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Rambona abbey
(Pollenza - Macerata)

Founded in 890 by a Longobard queen maybe on the remains of a Roman temple, the church was rebuilt in the 11th and 12th centuries, and it now appears much changed after different transfers of proprety.

Only the crypt is very charming: it is divided into five aisles by small Roman columns surmounted by Romanesque capitals of a rare beauty. Even the view on the outside apse, with its three apses, is really suggestive.

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Chiaravalle di Fiastra abbey
(Tolentino - Macerata)

Founded in 1142 and partly built with Roman material from the nearby Urbs Salvia, the complex still keeps the monastery, partly used by a community of monks.

Visitors can have a very interesting tour of the church, the cloister and the ancient halls used by the monks and this is particularly useful to really understand how life in a monastic community was organized.

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san Claudio abbey
(Corridonia - Macerata)

Actually despite its name, it does not appear as an abbey, but it can be included in this itinerary as a very interesting example of Romanesque architecture.

Built near the Roman Pausola , it was later partially transformed over the 11th and 12th centuries.

The church has a Greek cross plan, with two equal overlapping storeys and three small apses in the back. The facade has two cylindrical corner towers in Ravenna style.

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S. Maria a Piè di Chienti Abbey
(Montecosaro - Macerata)

Its truly original structure recalls the Cluniac architecture.
It was a very important provost’s house with many properties near the Chienti River.
The present church dates back to 1125 and it is built on a typical three-aisled basilica plan.

Inside it represents a unique example in the Marche Region with its women’s galleries and two superimposed presbyteries. The apsidal complex is very impressive in its overlapping storeys and with its three small apses at the bottom.

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