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St. Liberatore a Maiella Abbey

Municipality: Serramonacesca (PE)

Locality: St. Liberatore, at about 370 m a.s.l.

Building: It is one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Abruzzo. The basilica plan has three naves ending with three semicircular apses. The naves are crossed by seven arches leaning on pillars with a typical benedictine crowning on the top. Along the left nave there are two doors: the former leaded to the courtyard, the latter to the monastery. The central nave has a mosaic pavement dating back to 1275. There's an ambon that's datable to 1180 and the central and left apses are decorated with two important frescos cycles; the most ancient one dates back to the 13th century.
The external facade, made with ashlar stone of the Majella, has a quadrangular bell tower on one side and was once preceded by a colonnade. The walled surface of the front in constituted by two orders: a superior one, with frames leaning on blind arcades and lesenes, and an inferior one, with three gates.
The central and the right gates are datable to circa 1100, while the left one is more recent.

History and traditions: The  building used to be the principal seat of the Cassinian order. According to the abbot Bertario di Montecassino's Memoratorium of the 9th century, the territories of St. Liberatore extended from Pescara to Trigno.

After the 990 earthquake, the prior Teobaldo (1007-1022) started the reconstruction of the monastery and of all the land patrimony, which was partially occupied by the counts of Chieti. In the 9th century the  Normans controlled the monastery and during the Angevin period the properties of St. Liberatore were repeatedly confiscated and given back to Carlo and Roberto d'Angiò.
In 1465 cardinal Ludovico Trevisan became provisional abbot of Montecassino Monastery and of all its lands and structures. From this moment on all the priors were nominated by the temporary abbot and only dealt with administrative work until the napoleonic suppression in 1808.

Reachable by: car

Visit information: CEA (Centre for Environmental Education) Grande Faggio – Tel. +39. 0871.898143 - +39. 335.5995995

Image of St. Liberatore a Maiella monastery
Image of St. Liberatore a Maiella monastery
Image of a detail of St. Liberatore a Maiella monastery
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