Abbey of San Lorenzo Collazzone

Abbey of San Lorenzo

The Benedictine abbey of San Lorenzo is located on what is known as "San Giovanni's hill" not far from the village of the same name.

The hill, on which an ancient church once stood, took its name from the famous order of the knights of San Giovanni (St. John) who were the owners of the whole locality, which once belonged to the Templar knights.

Today it is difficult to guess the layout of the ancient convent, which has been significantly changed following restoration works that have been made over the course of the centuries.

The church is the most easily identifiable of the buildings: a simple structure divided into a nave with side aisles with rounded arches and characterised by wooden trusses.

Even older is the Romanesque crypt, which, in spite of some modifications in the 17th century, has kept its original layout.

Inside is the tomb of Matilde Marzia who died in 1240, the mother of Beato Simone di Colazzone (Blessed Simon of Colazzone).

The San Lorenzo complex began as a Benedictine Abbey and is first mentioned in documents in 1227, the year when a certain Oddone di Pietro donated some land to the abbot Gugliemo.

Judging by the Romanesque crypt, however, we can hypothesize that construction of the building dates back to the 11th century.

The historical events of the complex are connected to the life of Beato Simone (Blessed Simon), a follower of Saint Francis.

In 1259, the abbey was donated by to Bishop of Todi to the Franciscans and it was specifically following the wishes of Beato Simone that the Clarisse settled there.

Over the course of the 13th century, the convent increased its holdings. In 1306, Jacopone di Todi, looking for an isolated place to spend the last years of his life, took refuge there.

After this period of relative peace, the convent became prey to raids until the second half of the 14th century. The Clarisse were moved, some to the monastery of Montecristo in Todi, others to inside the safety of Collazone's city walls.

After the relocation of the Clarisse, the convent underwent a period of decline, until it was completely abandoned.

In 1844, the Bishop of Todi conceded it to Fra Carlo di Neustria and it was later sold to private owners.

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