Immersed in a splendid landscape at the foothills of Moncenisio, the Abbey of Novalesa was founded in 726 by Abbone, a Frankish nobleman and governor of Susa. The position along Via Francigena determined its strategic importance and the privileges obtained by Frank people quickly made it rich and powerful. During the age of Charlemagne, who stayed there prior to attacking the Lombards, the Abbey housed more than 500 Benedictine Monks, who in addition to aiding the pilgrims they dedicated to the transcription and miniature painting of precious codes, and it became one of the most celebrated cultural centres of the age. From this point a monk narrated the vicissitudes of the Abbey leaving that which is one of most famous works of the medieval historiography, the Chronicon Novalicense (middle of the 11th century). Today little remains of the immense patrimony of treasures of the Novalesa, plundered by the Saracens in 906 and abandoned by the monks for nearly a century. In the park are four isolated medieval chapels; the most famous of them is certainly that of St. Eldrado (beginning of the 11th century) that holds in its small setting a cycle of frescoes that narrates the life of the saint together with that of Saint Nicholas (1096-1097).
10050 NOVALESA (Turin)
Tourist visiting hours:
Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 to 11:30, every half hour. Tours are guided by a monk.
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