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|