The Abbazia Cistercense is the centerpiece of the Borgo of San Martino al Cimino, a borough of Viterbo. The abbey was an important stopping point along the ancient Via Francigena pilgrimage route, which led from northern Italy to Rome. The highlight is formed by the so-called Sala dei Monaci.
Abbazia Cistercense Viterbo
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Piazza dell’Oratorio, 2/A, 01100 San Martino Al Cimino VT. Telephone: +39 0761379803.
History and description
The Abbey of San Martino al Cimino is first mentioned in 868, when the complex is given to the abbot of Farfa.
The name comes from the originally French monastic order of Cistencians. They had settled here in the 12th century, although the monastery was not officially assigned to them by Pope Innocenzo III until 1207. Construction of the complex had probably started in 1150.
Little remains of the abbey itself, but the church is still largely intact. Inside the church there is a reference to the year 1225, but this is probably when its dedication took place.
Other documents indicate that the construction of the entire complex was not completed until 1305.
The façade is characterized by a huge window and two twin towers on the sides. These towers were built in the 17th century, when the façade was in danger of subsiding because of the unstable ground.
The interior has three naves separated by arches resting on solid columns.
Donna Olimpia is buried in the church, as is Prince Girolamo Pamphili.