San Donnino in Soglio Abbey

About 3 km from the town of Rocca San Casciano is the ancient abbey of San Donnino in Soglio. The original church, built around 1070 and documented since 1214, was a basilica with three naves. In the Middle Ages it was one of the oldest and most powerful Benedictine abbeys and became the economic, cultural and spiritual center of the Apennines thanks to its links with the castles of Montecerro and Orsarola, the abbey of San Benedetto in Alpe and the hermitage of Camaldoli. The monastery was governed by Benedictine monks until the Council of Trent in 1563.

In the 18th century, the building was reconstructed with one aisle and set back from the medieval convent that remains. Several Istrian stone sculptures from the early abbey, symbols of the Romanesque period, can be seen on the façade.

The sculpture on the left represents St. Peter holding a crosier in his right hand and the keys to paradise in his other hand; in the center is the lamb with the cross; on the right is a monk with a smoking incense burner.

Below the inscription ‘Hoc Opus Fecit Dominus Petrus Abas’ are three of the four Evangelists.

In the Abbey there are the remains of the fresco “Episodes from the Life of San Donnino”, dating back to the end of the 14th century, a work in Gothic style that recalls the Rimini and the Bologna schools.

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