Santa Maria di Corazzo Abbey

Carlopoli, Italy

The Abbazia di Santa Maria di Corazzo was founded in the 11th century in a valley near the Corace River, today, within the town of Carlopoli. Originally a Benedictine monastery, the Corazzo Abbey was reconstructed by the Cistercians in the 12th century, and shortly thereafter would be where Gioacchino da Fiore became a monk and then, an abbot. There, he began writing La Genealogia (The Genealogy), his first of many works.

As a Cistercian Order, the Corazzo Abbey would have been self sufficient. From agricultural endeavors to the construction of mills, the monks worked tirelessly. To aid the fertility of their fields, they diverted the course of the Corace River, built an aqueduct and studied the chestnut tree, an important food source for the local population.

Through contact with the Knights Templar, the Corazzo Abbey is said to have housed precious church relics, such as a piece of Christ’s cross and a lock of Mary Magdalen’s hair. Another legend tells of the abbey serving as a hiding place for the Templar’s last Grand Master. In the Renaissance, Bernardino Telesio, the 16th-century philosopher and naturalist from Cosenza, found inspiration inside the abbey’s books and walls.

Plague, earthquakes, wars and schisms all contributed to the monastery’s decline over several centuries. The final blow was suffered during the French occupation when the Cistercian Order and the monastery were suppressed in 1807-1808. At that point, the abbey was stripped of its riches, a number of which can be found in area churches, such as the marble altar, holy water font and wooden candelabras in the Parrocchiale San Giovanni Battista (Parish Church of St. John the Baptist) in nearby Soveria Mannelli.



Your name


Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in Italy


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

carlo curcio petronio (2 years ago)
Finalmente ripulita dalle erbacce, un luogo bellissimo in una zona stupenda dove un verde riposante si accoppia ad un profumo Intenso di tiglio e si respira un'aria pulita, leggera oltre a quella della storia.
A magical place surrounded by greenery and which deserves to be more cared for and protected, enhanced to be enjoyed by all easily!
Francesco Godino (2 years ago)
Calabria is a wonderful treasure chest, its opening is free, there are no padlocks, anyone can open it to see inside its beauties, its most beautiful and important values ​​of its territory. The Abbey of S. Maria di Corazzo is an imposing ancient structure, its ruins teach us how much work has been done and how much experience our Avi had. It would take a little more care in keeping it standing and clearing it of weeds by those who have the expertise and at the same time those who visit it to respect it.
Julianne Brandellero (5 years ago)
It was the most surprising find. I loved it but I see there are many local guides, why couldn't I find one when I visited.. advertising of local guides is a must!
Heath Abert (6 years ago)
An amazing place, and very spiritual, to my surprise. Loved walking through it and appreciated the volunteers who made it's history come alive.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.