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Abbazia di Sant'Antimo in South Tuscany (1120)


Back to Paradoxplace page about Sant'Antimo, its history and lots more photos



Building of the Abbazia di Sant'Antimo II (or possibly III) - near Montalcino in South Tuscany started in 1117.  Its translucent Romanesque form is as close to perfection as an abbey church and Tuscan setting get.  The church was probably modelled on the beautiful French pilgrimage church of Vignory on the via Francigena in Haute Marne (Champagne) - and it is one of only a handful of churches in Italy with an ambulatory.



Abbazia di Sant'Antimo, Tuscany in Morning Light



Abbazia di Sant'Antimo, Tuscany



Abbazia di Sant'Antimo, Tuscany


One of the special things about Sant'Antimo is light, which in the morning pours in through an unusually large apse window, and is not obstructed by the usual triumphal (light blocking) arch that is found in Romanesque and later churches.  Luminosity is amplified by the onyx, alabaster and local travertine stones which were used to build the abbey church, and the final visual drama is created by the nave floor sloping up slightly towards the apse.





Abbazia di Sant'Antimo, Tuscany



Abbazia di Sant'Antimo, Tuscany





A Centaur - primitivo !




A Nativity - with a dragon kill bonus .... the little angel fella mid right has a broken lance in his hand, and is standing over what could be a dead curly tailed mini dragon.  Photos on the Abbey's web-site indicate that this sculpture has been moved from the east wall of the campanile to inside the church.




Sant'Antimo Web Site


When we first started visiting Sant'Antimo in 2000, there was little printed or web information available about the Abbey.  Now there is a very comprehensive website (in Italian) with an English translation of the historical narrative and several outstanding photographs - well worth a visit !




Abbazia di Sant'Antimo, Tuscany


This and the photos below were taken around 7pm in late May 2005.

For a few weeks the sun swings right round in the evening to light up the facade and north wall.



Outside capital on the unfinished facade



East side of the cloister area - well and chapter house window frames


Abbazia di Sant'Antimo, Tuscany

Although Sant'Antimo is in a valley, it is still fairly high up - as can be seen from the view if you drive on past the abbey entrance.

Back to earlier Paradoxplace page on Sant'Antimo and its history

Link to lunch at the nearby Antica Osteria del Bassomondo


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