Abbazia di San Galgano

Tuscany, ITALY



Abbazia di San Galgano

Abbazia di San GalganoThis Cistercian Abbey was one of the first major gothic churches in Tuscany, and a model for the cathedral in Siena. It was built between 1224 and 1288 where, in 1180, the hermit Galgano plunger his sword into a rock.

The abbazia is now in ruin, but there is a charm about walking through the building, with no roof, and feeling the size and magnitude of the structure. There was a financial ruin that led to the decay. From the mid 1400's abbots were political appointees who had the authority to appropriate the abbaye's revenue for their own private use.

Near the end, Abbot Girolamo Vitelli who had only five monks at the abbaye sold the last of the assets including the lead from the roof!

By the 1600's the abbey was abandoned. Records and treasures were removed. The bell tower collapsed in 1786. When the bell tower fell so did part of the roof structure and the abbaye became a spot fort local builders to obtain stone.


San Galgano San Galgano