Abbey of St Maria del Monte
The Abbey of Santa Maria del Monte is a Catholic abbey in Cesena, Italy. This imposing building stands on the Colle Spaziano (Spaziano Hill).
After the year 1000 a Basilica with tree naves was built between the year 1001 and 1026 and finally a Benedictine Monastery was founded in honor of Bishop Mauro, now a saint, who had the custom of climbing the hill to pray.
Between 1536 and 1548 the church assumed its present day appearance on the basis of a design by Domenico Gravini of Brisighella on an original design by Bramante. As the centre of the artistic life of the city the Basilica del Monte also benefited from the work of the best artist in the area of Cesena: Scipione Sacco, Girolamo Longhi and Francesco Masini. Important works are also attributable to Francesco Morandi, known as the Terribilia, to whom we owe the cupola (dome) (decorated by Francesco Masini between 1568 and 1571) and original stone staircase, and to Alessandro Corsi who in 1588 was the creator of the monumental well of the Great Cloister.
Something of great beauty behind the main altar in the wooden choir by Giuseppe d’Alberto di Scalva which was completed in 1575.
A series of unlucky events led to a crisis for the Benedictine buildings which lasted throughout hundred and was aggravated by the earthquake of 1768 which destroyed the cupola (dome) of the basilica. The cupola was reconstructed by Pietro Carlo Borboni and decorated by Giuseppe Milani between 1773 and 1774.
The abbey is also known for hosting of Europe's richest collection of ex-voto (votive tables that date back more than five centuries), and for the laboratory for antique book restoration that continues to operate today.
- (Italian) Sito ufficiale dell'abbazia
- (Italian) Galleria di alcuni dipinti votivi dell'Abbazia
- (Italian) Galleria di alcune opera d'arte presenti nell'Abbazia
- (Italian) Abbazia di Santa Maria del Monte
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