/ / Abbey of the Sacra di San Michele: pictures, description Sacra di San Michele)

Abbey of the Sacra di San Michele: pictures, description Sacra di San Michele)

Sacra di San Michele, sometimes known as the Abbey of San Michele is a religious complex erected on the mountain of Mont Pirchiriano at the entrance to the Val di Susa. The complex is located in the municipality of Sant Ambrogio di Torino and belongs to the diocese of Susa. For many years the Sacra di San Michele, majestically overlooking the villages of Avigliana and Chiusa di San Michele, the symbol of the Italian region of Piedmont.

According to some historical documents, in the era of Ancient Rome on the site of the present Abbey was located a military Bastion, which controlled the main road that connected Italy with France. Later, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Lombards built here a fortress to protect these lands from the invasion of the Franks.

About the first years of the existence of Sacra di San Michele very little is known. The most ancient testimony belongs to a certain monk, William, who lived in the Abbey in the late 11th century and wrote a treatise on its history. William writes that the Abbey was founded in 966, the year, however, in the same treatise he mentions another date - the reign of Pope Sylvester II (999-1003 th years). It is known that the part of San Michele, which today serves as a crypt, was built in the late 10th century is confirmed by niches, columns and arches made in the Byzantine style. According to legend, this building was erected by the hermit Giovanni Vincenzo, who was the Archangel Michael. The same legend says that the materials for the construction of crypts, collected hermit in one night miraculously appeared on top of the mountain.

In subsequent years, the crypt was attached to another small building that could accommodate the monks and pilgrims. Later the Abbey became the property of Benedictine and beginning to flourish - was constructed detached buildings for the reception of itinerant pilgrims and the Church, probably the Roman Castrum as a military Bastion). In the 12th century on the initiative of the Abbot Ermengarde was laid a huge, 26 meters in height, the Foundation from the bottom of the hill to its top, on which is situated the new Church, which exists to this day, and other buildings.

In the early 17th century Sacra di San Michele began to decline, and in 1622, the year it was abolished by order of Pope Gregory XV. Until 1835, the year the Abbey was abandoned until king Charles albert turned to the priest and philosopher Antonio Rosmini with a request to refurbish it and re-turn to the monastery. Today Sacra di San Michele belongs to the order of rosminiani.

The Church of the Abbey, the construction of which lasted for several years, attracts attention with its unusual arrangement of the façade, which is at a lower level than the interior of the temple. With 41 meters in height, the façade leads to the "Staircase of the Dead" - Salone del Morty, framed by arches, niches and graves in which, until recently, you could see the skeletons of the deceased monks. At the top of the stairs there are Porta dello, Zodiaco - a masterpiece of sculpture of the 12th century. The Church itself is accessed via a portal in the Romanesque style, made in early 11th century of the grey and green stone. Inside the temple are visible elements of both Gothic and Romanesque styles. On the left wall is a huge fresco depicting the Annunciation and the choir is a triptych of Defendente Ferrari.

The complex of Sacra di San Michele includes the ruins of the monastery of the 12-15th centuries, which had five floors. At the end stands the Torre della Belle Alda - Tower of the Beautiful Alda. A so-called "the Crypt monks" probably once served as a chapel, which had the shape of an octagon and reproduced the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.