A pilgrim's destination
The Abbey at Montecassino is a place of haunting beauty. The present-day cathedral of Montecassino is the 4th church to stand on the site, previously that of a pagan temple.
Pilgrims walking the Cammino di San Benedetto receive their Testimonium at Montecassino.
The first Montecassino church was built by Saint Benedict in the 6th century. Here, he wrote the defining text for monasticism in the West, the Rule of St. Benedict.
A bronze commemorating the saint's death in 547 stands in the forecourt of the abbey.
In the 8th century, Charlemagne promoted St. Benedict's Rule throughout Western Europe.
The church has been built, rebuilt, and expanded over the centuries, most recently following World War II and its destruction during the 1944 Battle of Montecassino. The post-war reconstruction maintained historical elements, incorporated into the cathedral's 17th-18th century design.
The tomb of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica has survived centuries of destruction and wartime bombardment.
In February 1944, Allied bombers obliterated the monastery, believing it to be a German military command post. After the bombing, Polish soldiers were largely responsible for liberating Montecassino. More than 1,000 of them are buried in the Polish cemetery just below the Abbey.
By 1960s, the Abbey was restored to its former architectural glory.
The Cammino di San Benedetto is one of the Italian Wonder Ways. See more from our walk along the Cammino on Anita's Feast.
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