Serra San Quirico - Abbey of Sant’Elena

The Abbey of Sant'Elena is situated in Serra San Quirico, near Sasso area.
Founded in 1005 by St. Romuald, in 1180 it joined the Camaldolese Congregation. At that time was very prosperous the abbey was however established institution with a significant economic and social development. In the twelfth century it boasted the possession of about 50 churches and 10 buildings between castles and villas with all related assets. The church was renovated at the end of the century. XII. The mid-fifteenth century, Pope Innocent VIII to spare her Congregation Camaldolese, appointing a commendatory abbot, Cardinal Giovanni Colonna. On April 6, 1816, the last commendatory abbot of St. Helena, ceded in perpetual lease l 'Abbey with all related goods to Pianesi family, who later became the legitimate owner. The church is built of irregular sandstone blocks; has a slender facade with a bell tower and a beautiful portal splayed half-columns, topped by a bezel that shows a apicata cross between two lions in bas-relief. E 'with three naves; the central one is more than twice as large than the side but rises to the same height as the others, so as to give all'invaso looks like a hall church, "a gradinature". The presbytery, raised over the crypt, conserves the apse the canvas depicting St. Helena and the Cross, a work of Pomarancio. The abbey sculptural apparatus consists essentially in the capitals of the crypt, in those of the nave pillars and nell'ornato portal. We can distinguish two types of capitals: those storied, with patterns drawn from the universe of medieval bestiary (lions, dragons, mermaids) and the repertoire of the Christian holy figures; those antiqued offering various interpretations of the typology of the Corinthian capital.
In the old monastery, now used for ceremonies, conferences, catering and receptions, are the vaulted halls bricks, now cruising barrel now, with stone walls. Among them the oldest dates back to the 'eleventh century and has a vaulted ceiling and the floor in large slabs of stone. Apparently was the first settlement of the Abbey. the garden and the courtyard adjacent to the Church have been restored with a 'work of preservation and renovation.

According to the tradition, the abbey was founded by San Romualdo between 1005 and 1009, and it is located downstream of Serra S. Quirico, along the Esino river. Already in the twelfth century, this could be considered the most important monastery of Vallesina, with estates in the areas of Senigallia, Camerino and Osimo.
Sant’Elena is a vast Romanesque-Gothic building, which belonged to the "camaldolese" order, which looks almost like a fortress. Its present appearance dates 1212, as a tombstone in the chancel witnesses. It has a high facade with a bell tower and a portal in stone, with geometrical motifs and animals in bas-relief.
The exceptionally austere interior is still intact, with three naves divided by six high and mighty pillars. Magnificent capitals of different shape adorn them, rich of a repertoire made of geometric symbols, human figures and a medieval bestiary among the most evocative of the Marche region.

The Attractions of Serra San Quirico

 Attraction location

Itineraries to visit Serra San Quirico