Former Monastery of Astino • • Visit Bergamo

Former Monastery of Astino

Description

Located between the Bosco dell’Allagrezza (the “Cheerfulness Wood”) and the Benaglia Hill, the Astino Valley immediately conveys a sense of piece and serenity. That’s why in 1170 the vallombrosan monks decided to build their monastery and the Santo Sepolcro here.

A tight boundary was established between these religious buildings and the territory, to the extent that the name “Astino” indicates both the valley and the historical complex. In this little piece of heaven, space and time merge into something eternal.

Sit on the wide meadow surrounding this site: the beauty and the calm of the landscape will amaze you. Forests, hills and fields almost hide the network of streets all around the monastery: eastwards to the district of Longuelo, Bergamo, westward to the San Martino valley, heading north to San Sebastiano and the Bastia and San Vigilio hills.


During the second half of the XV Century the Astino Monastery acquired lands from all over the province. The church was consecrated in 1170, renovated and refurbished from 1540 on: the east wing was completed, along with the south wing rooms.

The massive southwestern corner-tower was also built, still standing out in the middle of the valley. The annexed church, called Chiesa del Santo Sepolcro, features a peculiar tau cross shaped plan, modified by adding a choir during the Renaissance. You will find three altars: the main one, slightly raised, the San Martino altar and the Evangelists altar, both built before 1140.

The history of Astino came to a turning point with the coming of Napoleon, in 1797: the monastery was abolished and turned first into a mental institution and later into a farm. It was eventually sold to private owners in 1923.

In 2007 the Congregation named “Congregazione della Misericordia Maggiore” purchased it and completely renovated the church in 2013, while it’s still refurbishing the rest of the monastery, in order to bring it back to the old glory along with the beautiful halls and the frescos hidden underneath a thick layer of white plaster, applied between the XIX and the XX Century.

During EXPO 2015 the monastery was opened back to the public: it hosted numerous events, exhibitions and initiatives related to food, wine and nutrition in general, with the participation of many people.

The wide lawns surrounding the religious buildings have been filled with visitors looking forward to enjoy the beauty of this valley, while the fields all around it represent an excellent example of biodiversity as a viable alternative to modern agriculture.

Out of curiosity

An exquisite Last Supper, created by the Florentine Alessandro Allori for the monastery’s refectory, is currently displayed at Bergamo’s Palazzo della Ragione.

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Located between the Bosco dell’Allagrezza (the “Cheerfulness Wood”) and the Benaglia Hill, the Astino Valley immediately conveys a sense of piece and serenity. That’s why in 1170 the vallombrosan monks decided to build their monastery and the Santo Sepolcro here.

A tight boundary was established between these religious buildings and the territory, to the extent that the name “Astino” indicates both the valley and the historical complex. In this little piece of heaven, space and time merge into something eternal.

Sit on the wide meadow surrounding this site: the beauty and the calm of the landscape will amaze you. Forests, hills and fields almost hide the network of streets all around the monastery: eastwards to the district of Longuelo, Bergamo, westward to the San Martino valley, heading north to San Sebastiano and the Bastia and San Vigilio hills.


During the second half of the XV Century the Astino Monastery acquired lands from all over the province. The church was consecrated in 1170, renovated and refurbished from 1540 on: the east wing was completed, along with the south wing rooms.

The massive southwestern corner-tower was also built, still standing out in the middle of the valley. The annexed church, called Chiesa del Santo Sepolcro, features a peculiar tau cross shaped plan, modified by adding a choir during the Renaissance. You will find three altars: the main one, slightly raised, the San Martino altar and the Evangelists altar, both built before 1140.

The history of Astino came to a turning point with the coming of Napoleon, in 1797: the monastery was abolished and turned first into a mental institution and later into a farm. It was eventually sold to private owners in 1923.

In 2007 the Congregation named “Congregazione della Misericordia Maggiore” purchased it and completely renovated the church in 2013, while it’s still refurbishing the rest of the monastery, in order to bring it back to the old glory along with the beautiful halls and the frescos hidden underneath a thick layer of white plaster, applied between the XIX and the XX Century.

During EXPO 2015 the monastery was opened back to the public: it hosted numerous events, exhibitions and initiatives related to food, wine and nutrition in general, with the participation of many people.

The wide lawns surrounding the religious buildings have been filled with visitors looking forward to enjoy the beauty of this valley, while the fields all around it represent an excellent example of biodiversity as a viable alternative to modern agriculture.

Out of curiosity

An exquisite Last Supper, created by the Florentine Alessandro Allori for the monastery’s refectory, is currently displayed at Bergamo’s Palazzo della Ragione.