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Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo

What to see in Montescaglioso, Matera, Basilicata


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is the most important monument of Montescaglioso and one of the most significant of Basilicata. Rises on the area of the acropolis of the town italica greek and whose ruins, urban structures and the necropolis with a dating between the centuries VII a. C. and the Roman occupation, were traced in the cloisters and in the former garden of the monastery. The great and majestic structure of the Monastery that still today it imposes to the admiration for its architectural merits, already existed in 1078, but you do not know with precision the actual date of commencement of construction (it is assumed in 400).

We know for certain that Umfredo d'Altavilla, son of Tancredi d'Altavilla, made of donations of land to the convent until 1095. The death of Umfredo monks, whose living conditions were very miserable, asked other donations to Rodolfo, son of Umfredo in 1097 and in 1099. The widow of Rodolfo, countess Emma, with her son Ruggiero, continued donations elargizzate by relatives. Following the same Emma undertook to expand the church of the convent. At the same time many other donations came from other benefactors, who followed the example of Emma.

He did not fail even the involvement of Pope Alexander III, which he put under his protection the monks of Montescaglioso. There was thus a long flowering period until the fifteenth century when it began the decline of the Abbey caused by continuous wars. In 1484 Baldassare del Balzo had commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV to put things in order but we managed. Subsequently to this arduous enterprise we ventured then Pirro del Balzo, Count of Montescaglioso, forcing the few remaining monks to leave the abbey, then repopulated with the monks of the Congregation of Santa Giustina from Padua.

On 5 August 1910 to the archbishops of Acerenza and Matera was granted to add the title of the abbots of Sant'Angelo di Montescaglioso. Since 1954 this title will be the prerogative only of the archbishops of Matera.

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Montescaglioso

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