Abbazia di San Clemente a Casauria
Castiglione a Casauria
Among the most beautiful monuments in Abruzzo, the Abbey of Saint Clemente is situated along the ancient Claudia-Valeria road.
According to the Chronicon Casauriensis, a codex dating back to the second half of the 12th century, ordered by the Abbot Leonate and written by the monk Giovanni di Berardo, the Abbey was founded in September 871. The location was strategically established along the Pescara river, between the Duchy of Benevento, at south, and the Duchy of Spoleto, at north. This area was advantageous in the construction of Fortresses and castles since the second half of the 10th century for military and political reasons.
The Chronicon illustrates a description of the location and the main events that took place in the monastery, such as the initial entitlement to the Holy Trinity, the translation of Saint Clemente's relics from Rome, granted by Pope Adriano II, the Saracens invasions from 915 to 920, the transition under the papal jurisdiction, the Normans' advent, the restoration of the abbey between 11th and 12th century by the Benedectine Abbots Grimoaldo and Leonate. Due to the events mentioned above, we can confidently state that Saint Clemente became an important political center such as the well-known monasteries of central Italy: Montecassino, San Vincenzo al Volturno, Farfa, and Subiaco.
The façade of the church is preceded by a portico with three arches on columns with narrative capitals. Of the three portals, the most interesting one is the central bronze portal, divided into 72 rectangular decorated panels, with various images such as crosses, abbots, rose patterns and castles that were subject to the Abbey. The lintel, the tympanum and the doorways of this portal are decorated with bas-reliefs which describe the foundation, the donation and the history of Saint Clemente's Abbey according to the Chronicon.
The church presents three naves, divided by pointed arcades supported by pillars that lead to an elevated transept with a semicircular apse. The crypt is accessible through the stairs along the aisles.. Of great importance for Medieval Abruzzo Art History are the finely engraved religious furnishings that can be admired inside the church: the pulpit and the Easter candle along the main nave and the ciborium at the end of the apse. Next to this is a large marble casket containing the relics of St. Clemente.
The abbey has an Antiquarium, dedicated to Pier Luigi Calore: a famous intellectual, well-known because of his many researches in Abruzzo between 1800 and 1900. The “Calore Antiquarium ” preserves artefacts which have been found in the surrounding area belonging to Roman and Medieval age.
via di S. Clemente
65020 Castiglione a Casauria