Visit Montecassino

The Abbey of Montecassino is one of the most known Abbeys in the world.

 

In 529 Saint Benedict chose this mountain to build a monastery that would host him and those monks following him on the way from Subiaco. Paganism was still present here, but he managed to turn the place into a well-structured Christian monastery where everybody could have the dignity they deserved through praying and working.

 

Within the centuries the Abbey has met magnificence and destruction many times, and has always come out of its ruins stronger. In 577 Langobards destroyed it, then Saracens in 887. In 1349 a violent earthquake occurred and in February 1944 a bombardment almost flatted it.

 

It is the faithful rebuilding of the twenty thousand square meters that people can see travelling on their way along the A1 Highway. Up on top of the 520 meters high mountain the monastery can easily be seen from far, making it a distinct landmark of the region.

 

Ora et labora et lege: this is the motto of Saint Bendict's Rule that the monks still follow in their daily routine. Some of them study in the library surrounded by ancient books, or make researches in the archive on breathtaking manuscripts. Some others host people seeking for a moment of inner peace and serenity. And if you are visiting the Abbey you might meet some of them having a walk in the cloisters before they go back to their rooms to pray alone or to gather later for the common prayer.

 

Every day thousands of pilgrims and visitors from all around the world come to this threshold. They silently go through the cloisters and then up the big ramp to the Basilica at Saint Benedict and Scholastica's grave. Then the Crypt is there beneath to be revealed with the astonishing golden mosaics. But it is in the museum where finally visitors can see the magnificent paintings, the wonderful manuscripts and ancient books. They can go through the history of the Abbey from the very beginning till today and grasp why Montecassino Abbey is known as the Lighthouse of Western Civilization.

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