Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Montecassino Abbey

Montecassino Abbey, situated on a hill in the Liri Valley south of Rome, is one of the most emblematic Benedictine abbeys in the world. Founded by St. Benedict of Norcia around 529, it became the mother house of the Benedictine order and a model for future monastic developments in the West. The abbey arose on an ancient pagan temple dedicated to Apollo, which St. Benedict consecrated to St. John the Baptist. Over the centuries, Monte Cassino was sacked and destroyed several times because of its strategic location. In its early years it suffered attacks by the Lombards in 577 and the Saracens in 883, which forced the monks to flee and the body of St. Benedict was temporarily transferred to France. However, the abbey revitalized and reached its peak in the 11th century under Abbot Desiderius, who later became Pope Victor III. During this period the abbey was distinguished by its flourishing scriptorium and its school of manuscript illustrators.

Montecassino Abbey is also known for the tragic events of World War II. In 1944, during the battles of Monte Cassino, the abbey was almost completely destroyed by Allied bombing. This represented a strategic attempt by the Allied forces to break through the German defenses in Italy, but resulted in the loss of an important historical monument. After the war, the abbey was rebuilt with the help of the Italian state and was reconsecrated by Pope Paul VI in 1964. Despite these challenges, the abbey has maintained its historical and cultural importance, being included in the 2016 UNESCO World Heritage List. Montecassino remains a symbol of resilience and continuity of the Benedictine tradition, attracting visitors and pilgrims from around the world.

  • Address
    Via Montecassino,  Cassino, Italy
  • Web
  • Visiting Hours
    Everyday from 9:30 to 18:30
  • What to see
    Tombs of St Benedict and St Scholastica, Museum, Bramante cloister

This post is also available in: Español Italiano

Leave a Comment