Montecassino Abbey is one of the most famous Abbeys in the world and is only a 10-minute drive from the hotel! But let’s learn about its interesting history.
In 529 St. Benedict chose this mountain to build a monastery that would house him and those monks who followed him from Subiaco. Paganism was still present, but he managed to transform this place into a well-structured Christian monastery where everyone could have the dignity they deserved, through prayer and work.
Over the centuries the Abbey has experienced magnificence and destruction many times, and has always been reborn stronger from its ruins. In 577 the Lombards destroyed it, then in 887 the Saracens. In 1349 there was a terrible earthquake, and in February 1944 a bombing razed it almost to the ground.
It is the faithful reconstruction of the 20,000-square-meter mountain that you see as you drive along the A1 highway. On the 520-meter-high mountaintop, the monastery is easily seen even from a distance, making it a definite landmark of the area.
“Ora et Labora et Lege”: this is the motto of the Rule of St. Benedict that the monks still follow in their daily routine: some study in the library surrounded by ancient books, or do research in the archives on wonderful manuscripts, others welcome guests who come in search of a moment of inner peace and serenity. And if you are visiting the Abbey, you might meet some who take a walk in the cloisters before returning to their cells to pray in solitude, or to meet later for communal prayer.
Every day thousands of pilgrims and visitors from all over the world cross this threshold. They walk silently through the cloisters and then up the grand staircase to the Basilica, to the tombs of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica. Then there is the crypt, below, to be discovered with the stunning golden mosaics. But it is in the museum that visitors can eventually see magnificent paintings, wonderful manuscripts and ancient books; they can trace the history of the Abbey from its beginnings to the present and understand why Monte Cassino is known as the “Lighthouse of Western Civilization.”
Other monuments to visit
Cassino is known not only for the Abbey but also for other important monuments, such as the Janula Fortress, the War Cemeteries and the Natural Museum. But if you want to find out more go to this page.
What are you waiting for?
Book your stay here so you don’t miss the beauty of Cassino!