13 Nov 2014

The Abbey of San Domenico, Sora



The Abbey of San Domenico, built in 1011, stands near the banks of a river and by a busy road which would once, no doubt, have been a country lane. It's quiet inside the almost empty church and there's an other-worldly atmosphere. The windows are high up and some light shines through them and after being outside in the bright sunshine the dim light is calming.
San Domenico da Foligno - St. Dominic from Foligno (951-1031) came to the region in later life and founded several monasteries including the one in Sora.  A violent earthquake in 1915 caused much damage to the buildings and restoration works had to be carried out faithful to the original simplicity of style of Cistercian architecture. Today the Abbey serves as a parish church and also has a close relationship with the monastic community of nearby Casamari Abbey. Three of my sisters-in-law and the other members of the choir from Casamari sometimes sing with the San Domenico choir.



The interior of the church is divided into three naves with an unusual raised transept with ascending steps up to the sanctuary and altar. Underneath is the crypt which can be accessed by means of a spacious flight of steps on both sides of the transept.


The crypt is also divided into three naves with sixteen columns that are all different and in the main apse there's a marble altar where the mortal remains of San Domenico are kept.






To one side of the church there are some Roman monuments and on a wall is a stone slab that recalls the birth of the Roman orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero. The event is believed to have occurred in the country villa that once stood on the site.

the view opposite the church and monastery


20 comments:

  1. It's beautiful, and has been restored so well. I like the lighting which the high up windows provide, it gives a wonderful atmosphere.

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  2. Wonderful photos of the Abbey, Linda especially of the interior, thank you for sharing your visit with us. I've noticed the thumbnail views have gone from one or two of the blogs I follow and thought maybe that the bloggers had set them that way but now I wonder if blogger has a problem?:)

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  3. hello
    pour la traductio j'ai sur mon blog , dans la colonne de droite des drapeaux
    il faut faire un clic sur le drapeau qui correspond à votre pays
    pour la lecture en Lightbox , il faut aller dans vos parametres de blog
    et verifier si il est bien installer
    bonne journée
    et merci du petit mot
    tendresse
    edith (iris)

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  4. Stunning photos Linda, thanks for sharing. The crypt is beautiful and I love all the marble. Blogger does seem to play up sometimes doesn't it? P x

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  5. I am always amazed at how fantastic the structures are that were built so long ago without all the modern machinery and technology. That is true love and craftsmanship!!

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  6. I love the austere simplicity of that period of architecture and would have enjoyed exploring this lovely church, Linda.

    I noticed the absence of the Lightbox today and did some exploring on the Blogger Help forums. This and the lack of thumbnail images are both linked to a change by Google Engineering which is affecting a lot of blogs. There is a work-round, but it involves altering the HTML of the post and most people won't want to do it, so let's hope Google reverses the change soon. I tried the workround suggestion and it does the trick, so if you want to know how, please let me know and I'll email you.

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    1. I too feel an affinity with the simplicity of Early Cistercian architecture. Thank you for the information about the Lightbox issue and that it's to do with Google and not Blogger. I think I will wait and see if something is done about it before I start to try anything myself.

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  7. Hi Linda, Gorgeous photos of the old Abbey/now a parish church... That is neat that your sisters-in-law get to sing with choir member from the Casamari Abbey on occasion... That would be a great experience.

    I don't know what is going on with Blogger --but so far, I haven't had any trouble. I'm not sure what to tell you --but if others have had this problem, maybe they will know the answers...

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  8. So beautiful in its simplicity! Interesting that the crypts are more ornate than the main floor.

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    1. An interesting observation, Lisa. The columns with their carvings down in the crypt, which is an important part of the building as it's where the saint's remains lie, are from pagan buildings as those early monks would have used the material from the ruins on the site. The ornate marble altar was a gift from a Pope, Clemente XI.

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  9. Calling by for a catch up read of your lovely blog where I always find posts of interest to me. The crypt reminds me of the one in Tuscania, the pillars anyway, the rest is nothing like as ornate!

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    1. I would very much like to go to the Lazio region north of Rome and see some of those architectural gems that you know well such as the church in Tuscania. Also the villas and gardens would be interesting to visit. Thanks for dropping by Lindy.

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  10. What an ancient church, such history! I loved the serenity of the place and how interesting to see ascending steps, I've never seen them in a church before. Such a beautiful place. Fascinating.xxx

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  11. It is really gorgeous! And your header is stunning.

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  12. What an incredibly beautiful church it is, the architecture is amazing isn't it. xx

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  13. This lovely church is beautifully shown in your photos Linda.

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  14. Love this post with the gorgeous architecture. I want to go there. How amazing the story about this church. Thanks so much for sharing. From another Linda P.

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  15. Ahhhhh, another abbey hit!! Love, love, love the arches and window lights, the vast spaces, the beauty and grace...

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  16. I can answer your question.... pazienza is your answer. blogger is hiccupping and only on some and others not. maybe each will get a turn at it. for the past 4 days my lightbox was gone on mine and about half of the blogs i visited but fine on others. today the light box is back on mine and it has changed to others. last time i i visited you, you had light box, i did not, now you don't. it will come back all by itself.
    I love that Abby. the architecture is awe inspiring and your inside photos are amazing. the crypt photos are really great.... a place i would love to see with my own eyes... i must say sitting through a service on those benches is not on my bucket list. LOL

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    1. Thanks Sandra for dropping by. Also for the thoughts on the Lightbox issue. Have a good day!

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