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St. Spirito del Morrone Abbey

Municipality: Sulmona (AQ)

Locality: Badia, at about 360 m. a.s.l.

Image of St. Spirito del Morrone monastery

Building: Risen up during the second half of the 13th century, the monastery is now the result of different construction phases as well as of a deep reconstruction which took place after the 1706 earthquake.
The building has a quadrangular basis surrounded by a wall with four nineteenth-century great towers (also with quadrangular basis) placed at the four corners. The monastery rises around three main courts and two minor ones.
The eighteenth-century portal leads into the Cortile dei Platani (Planes' Court), at the end of which is the church, and on which the entrances to the different parts of the original monastic complex (dormitory, refectory, etc..) are open.
The curch has a facade influenced by Borromini, a Greek-cross plan with the longitudinal axis slightly stretched and a dome cover with lantern at the arms' intersection.
To the left of the presbytery the Cantelmo-Caldora Chapel, or Ecce Homo, hosts the tomb of Mr. Restaino Caldora-Cantelmo fabricated by the German Walter Alemagna in 1412. On the walls a few episodes from the Life of Christ made ​​by a workshop in Subiaco are painted.
Below the presbytery is located a hypogeal structure, the crypt, wrongly identified with the church of St. Maria del Morrone.
The crypt consists of an irregular structure with columns supporting round arches with a series of vaulted bays with slight traces of fourteenth-century decoration, limited to the decorative bands of vaults and capitals and to a fresco depicting Pietro del Morrone dispensing the rule. Of great value is the monochrome decoration in the dining room, designed by monk Joseph Martinez between 1717 and 1719, with subjects taken from the biblical stories, episodes from the life of Pietro Celestino and the Virtues.

History and traditions: The monastery is attested for the first time between 1289 and 1290. In 1293 it becomes the new premises of the monastic order founded by Pietro del Morrone. Deleted in 1807 and used as a prison, today it houses the offices of the government department responsible for the historic, artistic and ethno-anthropological assets of Abruzzo.

Reachable by: car from the Badia hamlet in Sulmona (AQ)

Visit information: government department responsible for the historic, artistic and ethno-anthropological assets of Abruzzo – Tel. +39.0864.32849 (dialing then 1 or 4).

Image of a detail of the St. Spirito del Morrone monastery
Image of the front of the St. Spirito del Morrone monastery
Image of the landscape of St. Spirito del Morrone
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