[ Jan.2015 ] Chiaravalle Abbey in the suburbs of Milan is in a countriside.
There, the high and fine bell tower of the abbey was noticeable.
This Abbey belongs to the Cistercian order, which was founded in France at the end of the 11th century, making a great point of being simple and sturdy.
The abbot, Bernard came from France and preached here, which was the decisive factor in the birth of Chiaravalle and this was built originally in 1134-35.
The bell tower was added in the middle of the 14th century.
The abbey was suppressed at the end of the 18th century and many parts of the buildings were destroyed.
The monks left.
But 100 years later they started restoring it and in the end, on the 1st of March 1952.
monks returned here.
When we entered the church, a ritual was going on and monks in white were praying.
The inside of the church was full of frescoes and gorgeous, far from ‘simple and sturdy’.
We went out to the cloister and found one of the pillars had a knot.
Apparently this is common in Cistercian abbeys.
We also went to the shop where they say that the things made here are sold.
There were many kind of things, such as liqueurs and soaps, but when we looked at them closely, the label said “made in Liguria on behalf of Chiaravalle”.
which put us off a bit.
Even abbeys may be commercialised nowadays.