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monastery of Santa Scolastica

What to see in Subiaco, Roma, Lazio


Santa Scolastica is one of 12 monasteries founded in Subiaco from San Benedetto da Norcia, closest to that of San Clemente, where dwelt the same Benedict and since it was founded around the year 520 is the oldest in Italy followed by Monte Cassino, and the oldest Benedictine monastery in the world. It was probably derived from buildings belonging to the nearby villa of Nero.

Built with the title of San Silvestro, added soon to the primitive title that of St Benedict and St Scholastica (in the Liber pontificalis of the pontificate of Pope Leo IV is mentioned under the invocation of these three saints), but after the XV century it was called only Santa Scolastica.

Devastated by the Saracens in the IX century, was restored thanks to the support of Pope Gregory IV and Pope Leone IV. The Romanesque church was consecrated by Pope Benedict VII on 4 December 980, the bell tower was erected in 1052 and the cosmatesco cloister was made from Lando Abbot. Between the X century and the XIII century the monastery acquired large goods thanks to the donations of sovereigns and ecclesiastics, becoming one of the feuds more powerful of the Papal State.

In 1276 the Holy See is reserved the right to elect the abbots of Subiaco, but in 1456 Pope Calixtus III the dropped in the regime of the commenda: were abbots commendatari Juan de Torquemada, Rodrigo Borgia (who made to rebuild the Rocca Abbaziale), Antonio and Francesco Barberini, Giovan Angelo Braschi. The Commenda was suppressed by Pope Pius X in 1915 (bubble Coenobium Subiaco) and the abbey was reported to the common law of the abbeys nullius. After 1770 the abbey church was rebuilt in neoclassic style on a project by Giacomo Quarenghi.

Belonging to the congregation the cassinese from 1514, in 1850 it was assigned to the Abbot Pietro Francesco Casaretto that vi introduced his reform from which began the Congregation who later took the name of Subiaco, today Sublacense Cassinese. Bombed during the second world war on 23 May 1944, the monastery was later restored.

Inside you will find the Cathedral of Santa Scolastica rises in the same place of four places of worship claims: the oldest was constituted from the oratory of the monastery of San Silvestro, founded by St Benedict at the beginning of the VI century, that in the IX century changed its name in the monastery of Saints Benedict and Scholastica and was equipped with a new and bigger church, adjacent to the previous one. On the same site was built in the X century a new church in Romanesque style, consecrated by Pope Benedict VII on 4 December 980, rebuilt in Gothic style in the XIV century, assuming a structure with a single nave ending with apse with quadrangular plan.

The Cathedral overlooks the second cloister of the monastery of Santa Scolastica, irregular in shape and called gothic cloister for the presence, on the side opposite the church, a great arc in gothic style flamboyant of the XV century.

The portal is not along the longitudinal axis of the cathedral, but greatly displaced to the left due to the presence, at his right hand, the romanesque bell tower at the base of which there is the entrance of the monks. The bell tower is built to a square plan and dates back to 1052-1053; originally covered with a high, pyramid-shaped spire was demolished in the 17th century, has on each side five orders of windows, only triple lancet windows on the sides northern and western also double lancet windows on the remaining.

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