28 Mar 2014

A visit to the Abbey



Whenever we're back home in Italy we go to the nearby abbey whether it's to get something from the pharmacy, the monastery shop, visit the church or just wander around the grounds. This time I wanted to see what was going on in the cloister and inner courtyard gardens and to buy some honey and other items.

The gatehouse
Entrance to the inner courtyard, inner monastery buildings, library and cloister
Entrance to the library

The Chapter House

Stained glass window in the Chapter House - St. Benedict
Stained glass window in the Chapter House - St. Bernard of Clairvaux



                            The cloister garden had been cleared ready for putting in the bedding plants.




                    This is the cloister garden as it looks in the Summer months planted out with salvia.

March 2014
Summer 2011


Going through the cloister and down some steps there's another garden which leads to the monastery herb garden, allotments and vineyards. Since the last visit the trees have been cut back and it looks as if drilling is going on to create an artesian well.











Finally we went into the monastery shop and bought some honey and a bottle of herbal liqueur (elixir of San Bernardo).



22 comments:

  1. What a beautiful, and, I suspect, peaceful place - I'd dearly love to visit it. Is San Bernado the Italian for St Bernard of Clairvaux, and is it a Cistercian or a Benedictine monastery? I'm interested to know, because I'm a Franciscan Tertiary, and have visited Assisi and other Franciscan sites in Umbria, which, although not as big, had such a wonderful atmosphere. Your are so blessed to have such a lovely home in such a gorgeous area, with a place like the monastery so near at hand. There's something really special about places like that, isn't there. Have a lovely time with your Italian family - blessings to you all.

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Helva. Casamari Abbey was founded by four Benedictine monks on the site of an ancient Roman villa and estate and later enlarged. In 13th century it was entrusted to the Cistercians, a new order, and in 1203 the Cistercian monks, following the preaching of St. Bernard of Clairvaux built a bigger church in the Gothic-Cistercian style, avoiding extra decoration in keeping with the austere teaching of the order. The Abbey is one of the few architectural models that still retains the organization of the buildings as planned by Bernardo of Chiaravalle. The present Cistercian religious (there's also a convent close by with a nursery school)) minister to the local area through preaching, teaching and opening up for retreats and personal study. There's also the chemist's and general shop run by the monks with the parish hall and post office within the complex.

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  2. What a beautiful walk around the Abbey. I'm wondering what plants are in the pots that cascade down from on high? In the summer pictures, they are blooming. The story of your husband's grandfather is something. It carries your family history too.

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  3. The plants hanging down from the pots are mostly pink and red pelargoniums (geraniums) probably the ivy-leaved type, Jody. The pots of lemon trees are put out in the warmer weather, too.

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  4. I'm also wondering about plants in pots.. the ones on the columns going down towards the fountain. Tree ferns or palms? The effect is wonderful.

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    1. They are feathery leaved palms - probably small sago palms.

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  5. What a lovely treat to discover this morning! Thank you for this peaceful walk through the eloquent arches and architecture. It's like clearing out all the stresses in my body. I just finished watching the television series, World Without End, based on the book by Ken Follet...a sequel to Pillars of the Earth. A horrifying look at 14th century living conditions with the cathedral used as a sanctuary...a novel, of course, but Ken is pretty good about researching to back up the historical events of the time.

    Thanks again, Linda!

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  6. I am glad it is peaceful there now.. war is a horrible thing. also happy this beauty survived. i love that stain glass window and the courtyard.the faucet is my favorite..

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  7. So pretty - so much history. It is hard for me to imagine that kind of history being so close at hand and all around you. Enjoyed the tour and details of your husband's connection to the abbey.
    Cindy

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  8. It all looks so wonderfully peaceful after such turbulent times during WW2. I can imagine it's walls and courtyards are cool and inviting in the heat of the summer. What a lovely place to go to buy honey:)

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  9. Dear Linda - I think that this must be snap if we were playing cards - our blogs have both travelling along a similar Cistercian pathway. Of course your Abbey is still very much a working one, whereas the Monks are long gone from mine. I wonder what the situation here would be today if Henry Vlll had not dissolved so many of them.
    I love the cloister garden, it must be very quiet and peaceful, there is no doubt that the monks live in beautiful surroundings.

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  10. Casamari Abbey looks like the sort of place I would really enjoy visiting. Thanks for the lovely virtual tour Linda.

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  11. It looks so tranquil, as you say, hard to imagine during the war years. Such a beautiful place, I love those windows.

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  12. I think I would never grow tired of spending time at the abbey. And what an interesting history it has!

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  13. Hi Linda, after a very busy time I have at last found some time to sit and catch up with my favourite blogs whose posts I have missed over the last month. As always it has been a joy to share your photos with you. I always find that reading your blog and viewing your photos leave me with a sense of peace and serenity. Thank you so much for sharing and hopefully I will now have the time once again to stop by as you put your posts up!!

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  14. It is a beautiful place and looks very serene and tranquil. The architecture is lovely as well, it is very similar to religious buildings here and yet different as well. It sounds very interesting. xx

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  15. What a fascinating place with such an interesting history. How sad about your your husband's grandfather, we are so lucky to live in peace time. I did enjoy this post, such a beautiful building.xxx

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  16. Bellissime immagini e bellissimo ed esauriente racconto. Non ho mai visitato quest'abbazia, ma senz'altro lo farò presto. Buona settimana
    Emi

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  17. Such serenity. As always, I'm in awe of age and history of where you live. I've been out of touch for awhile - tough winter in many ways. Doing better. Hope you are doing well. :>)

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  18. Thank you for this great tour Linda. To walk through these grounds must be a very relaxing experience. It looks so peaceful now. How sad about your husband's grandfather. Looking at these beautiful photos, it truly is hard to imagine what went on there all those years ago. I have the same thoughts when I walk across the Manassas Civil War Battleground near us. A magnificent Abbey and a marvelous post, as always.

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  19. Casamari Abbey is an architectural gem. I only wish I had visit somewhere like it on my two whirlwind trips to Italy.
    I've seen several in France over the years - one of the most beautiful was at Chartreuse in the Alps. A Carthusian Abbey where the monks make the famous chartreuse liquor, honey and soaps.
    I 'm always captivated by the simple yet ordered way of life.
    The cloister gardens are lovely especially when the red salvia is flowering.
    Walled gardens provide a micro climate where all manner of plants can flourish.
    The most beautiful cloister garden I've seen is at the Abbey on the top of Mont Saint Michel - I could have happily stayed there forever!

    The decorations of flowers and leaves carved into the stone walls of Casamari are beautiful - as is the brass tap.
    A lovely informative post dear Linda.

    hugs
    Shane


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  20. Love visiting the Abbey here. The red flowers against the neutral stones is so stunning.
    How I would love visiting here. As usual I must say beautiful and gorgeous!

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