San Martino al Monte Cimino, Abbey of

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An abbey nullius founded in the 13th century, four miles from Viterbo, Italy, in a fine position 1,840 feet above sea level on the northwest slopes of the Cimini mountains. Around the abbey grew a village of the same name. A church dedicated to St. Martin, a dependency of the Abbey of farfa, is known to have existed on the spot from 838. About 1045 benedictines from Farfa rebuilt the church; a century later, however, the monastery had so decayed that Pope Eugene III assigned it to the cistercians of Saint-Sulpice near Belley (Savoy). As even this measure had not succeeded in restoring it to prosperity, Pope Innocent III ordered it transferred to the Cistercians of pontigny, whose rule was stricter, and at the same time granted them special privileges (1207). To this latter period belongs the present church, built under Abbot Pietro and consecrated c. 1230. After a period of splendor the Abbey was placed in commendam (see commendation) in 1378, and in 1645 was given by Pope Innocent X to the patronage of the Pamphili family, who built abaronial residence beside the church, demolishing and transforming a large part of the monastic buildings and overlaying the church with baroque ornamentation. Restoration work between 1911 and 1915 removed the baroque additions, revealing the original structure. Since May 2, 1936, the bishop of Viterbo has held the joint title of abbot of San Martino al Monte Cimino.

Bibliography: p. egidi, "L'abbazia di S. Martino sul Monte Cimino," Rivista storica benedettina 1 (1906) 579590; 2 (1907) 161199, 481552. a. muÑoz, "Monumenti di architettura gotica nel Lazio," Vita d'arte (September 1911) 75103. p. toesca, Storia dell'arte italiana nel medioevo, 2 v. (Turin 1927). l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 2:2798.

[s. olivieri]

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San Martino al Monte Cimino, Abbey of

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