San Mercuriale Abbey

The Abbey of San Mercuriale (1178-1181), dedicated to the first Bishop of Forlì and belonging to the Lombard Romanesque architectural style, is a historic building of extraordinary religious, artistic, and civil importance. Dominated by the impressive Lombard-style bell tower (standing more than 70 meters high), the abbey stands on what was probably a cemetery area, outside the walls, where the bishops of the first Christian community of Forlì were buried. Its current appearance is the result of intense restoration work, carried out in the early 20th century.

The façade hosts a true masterpiece on the lunette of the entrance doors. Namely, high-relief work known as Sogno e adorazione dei Magi (“Dream and Adoration of the Magi”), dating to the early 13th century and attributed to the Maestro dei Mesi from Ferrara (a master sculptor who remains anonymous). This sculptural work is thought to be one of the first sculpted nativity scenes.

Opening hours:

Open everyday from 7.30 a.m. until 7.00 pm.

The bell tower is opened (10 a.m.-12 noon and 4 p.m.-6 p.m.) on festivities such as Christmas, Easter, the feast of San Mercuriale (26th October) and Madonna del Fuoco”Our Lady of Fire” (4th February).

For visits outside these periods, please contact the parish priest at the Basilica number (0543 25653) or at the church of Santa Lucia from 5 p.m. (0543 33355).

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