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Abbey of St Mary in Montesanto

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Abbazia di Montesanto
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St Mary’s Abbey is on the quiet hill of Montesanto, in the deep tranquil atmosphere set by the vicinity of the hills of Teramo. It is among the most suggestive places of the province.

According to the tradition, Abbot Saint Benedict founded the church and starting himself the building works in 542, when back from a journey to the Piceno.

However, the oldest written document to mention the abbey dates back to 1064. This monastery located in between the Reign of Naples and the Papal States, in the 14th century was one of the most important of the area. It owned eight churches; two thousand modius (a dry measure) of land in the valley of the Pescara River and even many of the monasteries built later on were under its jurisdiction. Its decline started around the end of 15th century: first, it lost its autonomy, then its properties were confiscated, finally it was repressed in 1797.

According to the classic framework of the Benedictine churches, the style had to be basic and plain, with just one nave, a choir and a sacristy, this one built during the first reconstruction works of the 13th century. The remains brought back to light during the restoration works seem to confirm the medieval original design with three naves, perhaps transformed only later into the existing ground plan.

The Romanesque bell tower, currently detached from the church is part of the monastery construction. The various restoration works brought back the architectural structure as well as the complete functionality of the building.

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