Abbazia cistercense di Santa Maria

The complex can be traced back to a first monastic settlement recorded in 1150, after which work began on building the abbey, completed in the mid-13th century. During the 1600s, various alterations took place because of the construction of a stately home; the facade of the church was pulled down and a span was removed. The layout and elevation of the current church, together with the surviving part of the monastery, confirms the construction of the building according to the dictates of the Cistercian order of St. Bernard: the church has a Latin cross form with three three-arched naves and the massive bell tower, built in the second half of the 16th century, which is found on the wing of the transept. The right-hand side of the transept leads to the sacristy and to the monks’ dormitory. The walls are decorated by numerous frescoes of Lombard style dating from between the late 15th century and the early 16th century, some have the signature of Franceschino Boxilio. The oldest frescoes, located on the wall at the end of the presbytery and on the first pillar to the left are characterised by gothic shapes, while the other figures present Renaissance features. To the right of the church, the monastic environments have gone; the chapter house remains, embellished by two-light windows on twin columns.

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viale di Rivalta, 1/5 - 15057 Tortona (AL)
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