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Abbey of St Clement al Vomano

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San Clemente
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After a long period of restoration works, the abbey reopened to the public in 2008. According to many, there is a relation between the Abbey of St Clement al Vomano and the school based in San Liberatore a Maiella. However, the tradition tells that the church was founded in 874 on request of Ermengarda, the daughter of emperor Ludovico II.

The date engraved on the ornament of the portal is 1108 and this is when the new building was founded. The attached convent, abandoned by the monks, collapsed in the 16th century. Luckily, the church remained standing although in need of urgent consolidation works.

The interior ground plan presents three naves each ending with a semi-circular apse and supported by brick or stone pillars or columns. The progressive succession of columns and pillars strengthens the sense of the space as far as the presbytery, which is raised from the ground by ten steps. The presbytery is surmounted by a ciborium of great value, the oldest in Abruzzo - 12th century- finely carved by Roberto and his father Ruggiero. Four small stone columns with rich capitals support its quadrangular plan. The decoration comprises stuccos finely entwined with images.

The altar underneath is splendidly decorated too. In the nave on the right, a polychromatic wooden bust represents Pope Saint Clement, whereas on the other side there are interesting remains of frescos. Outside, the stone portal and the façade’s archivolt both are carved and of artistic value.

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