San Galgano and the sword in the rock


continue for English text The great Abbey continue for English text

Home The Hermitage of Montesiepi The great Abbey The life of San Galgano
The Sword in the Rock The Chapel The Dome The Sacred Geometry
The Grave of Meryatum Chartres Church Photo gallery Accomodation in Merse Area

The building made up of the Hermitage (also called Montesiepi’s Round) and of the ruins of the big St. Galgano’s Cistercian Abbey, is one of the most enchanting views in Tuscany.

Views as enchanting as this can be found near and far.

Abbey St. Galgano

In Montesiepi’s Round you can find St. Galgano’s Sword in the stone.

The Sword in the Rock The Sword in the Rock

The Sword in the Rock

Montesiepi’s Round was built between 1182 and 1185, over the hut on the hill where St. Galgano lived during his last year and right there where he had placed his Sword in the stone.

At the beginning it was the tomb of the Saint, who had been buried north of the Sword, so that he could “see” Chiusdino through the entrance door.

Only in 1218/1220 began the construction of the big Abbey downhill.

The building went on until 1268, when the Abbey was officially consecrated by Volterra’s Bishop Alberto Solari.

The Abbey knew 100 years of great prosperity until 1364, then followed a slow decline due to the unfortunate Commenda’s practice.

We’ll just cite one misdeed as an example: in 1550 the commendatory Girolamo Vitelli even sold the lead roof, after the jewels and a lot of other things.

Despite some attempts to bring back the monastery into use at the end of 1789, after that Montesiepi’s Round had been put up in Pieve, the big abbey was deconsecrated and left for good to lie in ruin.

The great Abbey

While Montesiepi’s Round, thanks to his Sword in the stone, bring us back to the Arthurian Saga, the big Abbey offers us others “musical” and “Egyptian” surprises, through his Sacred Geometry.

Quo me vertam, si tantum thesaurum, si pretiosum depositum istud, quod sibi Christus sanguine proprio pretiosius iudicavit, contigerit negligentius custodire?

Si stillantem in cruce Domini sanguinem collegissem, essetque repositus penes me in vase vitreo, quod et portari saepius oporteret, quid animi habiturus essem in discrimine tanto?

St. Bernardo di Chiaravalle


Maybe the good Cistercian monks of Saint Roberto in Molesme and Saint Bernardo in Chiaravalle knew more than what they left us in their written documents.

the labyrinth

For informations about the opening times and more others things you can read this page.







Home The Hermitage of Montesiepi The great Abbey The life of San Galgano
The Sword in the Rock The Chapel The Dome The Sacred Geometry
The Grave of Meryatum Chartres Church Photo gallery Accomodation in Merse Area



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Translation of: Elisa "the Bianca Tigre" and Elena A.