The first documentary reference to Santa María de Piasca is a donation from 930 making reference to a basilica just founded on the site. Little over a decade later, in 941, an agreement was recorded between 36 nuns and an unknown number of monks under an abbess Aylo, telling us that the monastery housed a community of both sexes. The monastery's dual character faced several oscillations, with the nuns leaving and returning twice. The archeological evidence of the original monastic buildings shows a small single nave church and separate spaces for the two groups.
A foundation stone records that the current church on the site, the Romanesque edifice, was dedicated in 1172 under a prior Petrus Albus. By this point the monastery had been incorporated into the larger Cluniac monastery of San Facundo y Primitivo de Sahagún (in 1122) and brought under the Benedictine Rule. The inscription also names the master of the project as Covaterio. The church has two sculpted portals, the west and the south. The portals have most likely been somewhat reconstructed, possibly with elements exchanged between the two. The triple arcade on the west façade has obviously been renovated as the central sculpture of Mary is from the sixteenth century. The two apostles (Peter and Paul) to her sides may have originally flanked an image of Christ, forming, as Ruth Bartal suggests, an abbreviated apostolado.References:
Bamberg is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz close to its confluence with the river Main. Its historic city center is a listed UNESCO world heritage site.
Bamberg is a good example of a central European town with a basically early medieval plan and many surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings of the medieval period. When Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, became King of Germany in 1007 he made Bamberg the seat of a bishopric, intended to become a 'second Rome'. Of particular interest is the way in which the present town illustrates the link between agriculture (market gardens and vineyards) and the urban distribution centre.
From the 10th century onwards, Bamberg became an important link with the Slav peoples, especially those of Poland and Pomerania. During its period of greatest prosperity, from the 12th century onwards, the architecture of this town strongly influenced northern Germany and Hungary. In the late 18th century Bamberg was the centre of the Enlightenment in southern Germany, with eminent philosophers and writers such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and E.T.A. Hoffmann living there.
Bamberg extends over seven hills, each crowned by a beautiful church. This has led to Bamberg being called the 'Franconian Rome'.