Palaces walls and monuments



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Ex convento monaci di S. Galgano

Conspicuous are the traces of the ancient cloister at Piazza del Grano. Today are still present the entrance floor( in herring bone-bricks), the small cloister with a well of endless water, the stairs, the loggia and all the structures of buildings, both on the inside and outside. The cloister was in great favour in the XV and XVI centuries. On the entrance door still makes a fine showing the Saint Galgano’ s coat of arms, representing a sword, driven into the rock, which has become tender like the clay with the hilt elevated as a cross on a cliff. Under this coat of arms in marble, we can clearly read the inscription: “HE AEDES INSTAURATE SUNT ANTONIO ABBATE SANCTI GALGANI VIVENTE MCCCCLXXXVIIII” ( “The buildings were built at the time of Antonio, abbot of Saint Galgano in 1489”) Certainly, we are talking about following enlargements and improvements of already existent buildings. Also on the inside, the structures of rooms call back the original destination, even after several remaking. In the room of the probable refectory of the Community, there was a small fresco by an undetermined author, into a brick covering. The stores of the cloister were the “Grance”, that are granaries, where the “messmen” monks kept and negotiated the wheat. To the ancient presence of these granaries, of which the traces are everywhere, is linked the name of the square which faces the building: “Piazza del grano”. Ancient heirs of the Benedictine tradition, the monks of Saint Galgano were known in Asciano as colonizers and reclaimers: a group of the big order of Citeaux, of which Bernardo di Chiaravalle, ascetic and mystic, had begun the spread all over Europe. They managed numerous gods, lands and houses, in different areas of the territory of Asciano. Their main properties were those of the country around Palazzo Monaci, along the road for Chiusure, on the hills westwards, towards the Ombrone’s valley and, eastwards, facing the hillock of Cella, on the slope of the Copra gully. In palazzo Monaci was erected a chapel dedicated to Saint Galgano. The name of the farmhouse evokes the memory of an ancient hermitage and of a small “grancia”.

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