Brief Guides of:
Colle val d'Elsa
There really exists only one sword in the stone, in all the world. It's
S.Galgano's sword. We find it in Tuscany, not far from Siena, between the
villages of Monticiano and Chiusdino, near the wonderful ruins of an
impressive Abbey, San Galgano, without a roof, which has a meadow of green grass as a floor and
one sword in the stone. A lot of Britans carried swords to Tuscany. The sword also
seems to be Arthurian.
|| Click image for night view
Galgano Guidotti was a knight born to rich
parents in 1148. He wanted to renounce the material world and also the arts
of war. As a sign to renounce violence, Galgano thrust the sword into the
stone, adoring it as the Cross. Later on, he performed some miracles and died in
1181. He was declared Saint in 1185.
San Galgano: about 35 Km from Siena. It is a Cistercian Abbey built
in 1324 which holds a very important place in the art and history of
Siena. It stood near the hill of Montesiepi where Cavalier
Galgano Guidotti from Chiusdino lived a life of penitence from 1148 to
1181; a circular Romanesque chapel with a hemispherical vault was built on
the spot in remembrance (12th century) decorated with frescoes of the
14th century Sienese school of painting.
The Monastery of San Galgano began
to decline during the 15th century when it was deprived of the title of
Abbey (1503). The vaults and the steeple fell to the ground in 1786 and
the ruins can still now be seen in all their suggestive beauty. The
church was never rebuilt; it is in the shape of a Latin cross 69 m. long,
with a nave and lateral aisles, pointed arches, ribbed vaults and pillars
with sculptured capitals. In the adjoining monastery, you can see the Chapter Hall;
the portal is ogival and the hall is divided into two naves by rows of
pillars. The refectory, too, is divided into two naves with well preserved
Nowadays S.Galgano Abbey, is one of the most important and
beautiful Gothic buildings in Italy.
Look at the map