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Montecassino Abbey

Reminders of St. Benedict

The Abbey Museum

Scenes from the Monastery

The Abbey Church

Stairway to The Crypt

 




 

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Stairway to the Crypt
(the Underground Hidden Church)

     Unfortunately, the lighting in the Secret Church was not good enough for my digital camera.  So, you will have to be satisfied with the images of the mosaic tile work that covers the ceiling arches above the stairs that descend from the church above.

     Upon reaching the hidden church, built in 1544 when G. Scloccheto da Piacenza was Abbot of Montecassino, you will see the Chapel of St. Maurus.  There is a high marble relief of St. Benedict blessing a crowd of poor and sick people.

     In another chamber there is a beautiful mosaic of the Madonna with child, framed by a wall of golden tiles.  Below the mosaic are relief sculptures of some of the Founder Saints of the Benedictine Order.

   The entire underground church gleams with gold.  The ceilings and walls are covered with golden tiles measuring 1 cm x 1 cm or less.  They are used to frame the brilliant mosaics that were done in 1913 by the Benedictine Art School of Beuron, Germany.

     Here you can see a close up of detailed mosaics that cover the ceilings of the stairways that lead down to the Hidden Church.  It is hard to imagine that a space so large could be finished with tiny tiles like this.  The time required to place the millions of tiles must have been incredible.

 

 

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Credit for the text in this tour:
The Abbey of Montecassino. Pubblicazioni Cassinesi / B.N. Marconi., Genova, 1998
 
 

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