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Ruins of the ancient monasteries on Mt. Orbieso

The ancient mule track known as Strada Fonda follows the ridge of Mt. Orbieso and connects two monastic complexes. Following a short deviation at the beginning of the hill, we meet the ruins of the Priory of S. Eusebio, which was built on the same place of the valley’s ancient rural church, that belonged to the monks of Praglia. Its original structure can be inferred from ancient maps: it was a small church with a gate, rose window, and a high-steepled bell tower; several other buildings - a monastery, a courtyard with a well, and a workshop - leaned against the church. When monasteries were suppressed, the priory was privatised and is currently in ruins. On the opposite side on the Strada Fonda there was the monastery of St. Maria Annunziata. A short walk connected it with the Steogarda plateau, where a road ran between Faedo and Galzignano. This modest monastery was built in 1233 and faced changing fortunes; following the internal crisis of the Benedictine order, it passed to the Camaldoli monks.

In 1458 it was united with the monastery of S. Michele di Murano, and in 1770 the Republic of Venice suppressed it and turned it into a farm. Today the monastery is in ruins, but the remaining structures testify to the site’s ancient nobility. A double wall enclosed the whole complex to grant seclusion; within the walls, there was a rainwater cistern, an arched portico to welcome visitors coming up from the valley below and, on the opposite side, a secondary entrance which opened on the fields west of the monastery; the small church was attached to the portico.

Municipality: Galzignano Terme (PD) | View on Map
Ruins of the ancient monasteries on Mt. Orbieso
Ruins of the ancient monasteries on Mt. Orbieso
(photo by PR Colli Euganei)
 
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