Morimondo, Morimondo Abbey
The Abbey of Morimondo was founded in the 12th century (1136) by the Cistercians coming from the French Monastery of Morimond. After having moved to Lombardy, they maintained the name of their mother-Abbey (from the word "mora" in latin = swamp). The basilica, built after the construction of the Monastery (from 1182), is today the most interesting monument for visitors travelling to Morimondo. It reflects the design of Cisternian churches wanted by S. Bernardus: grandiose and solemn, in contrast with the austerity and poverty of the life of monks, whose merit was to drain and improve the agricultural territories.
The exterior made with bricks is in French Gothic style with Romanesque and Lombard elements. The façade presents a hut-shape (taglio a capanna); before the portal, a pronaos can be seen (colonnade placed before the church) that was added in 1736. A central rose window, double lancet windows, closed openings and others that have no ceiling define the upper part, crowned by a series of small arches that continue on the sides. The interior has a basilica shape, with three naves on cross vault pillars, with rectangular transept and apsis. Works. Upon entering, to the right, a magnificent holy water stoup from the 4th century can be seen, with rosettes and fantastic heads. Worthy to be seen is the choir, ordered by the monks from Settimo Fiorentino that settled in Morimondo in 1490, to the engraver from Abbiate, Francesco Giramo, that finished the work in 1522. It is formed by 70 stalls divided in two orders; on the stalls, symbolic figures are depicted. On the right side of the church, the cloister is located, overlooked by the various parts of the Monastery, that were often changed and restored over time. The most ancient part is on the eastern side, with the capitular hall, the overlooking dormitory, the "parloir" and the "working hall" of the monks. The "calefactorium" (the only heated room) is located in the southern part of the building, as well as the dining hall. The wing of lay brothers, in the western side, is the one that underwent most changes.
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