San Liberatore A Maiella Abbey (Serramonacesca)
This Benedictine church is situated in an isolated position at the foot of the Majella Mountain and is immersed in an enchanting natural scenery. It is the oldest example of a Medieval structure in Abruzzo.
The original structure, which already in 856 included the monastery as we can see it, was a dependency of the abbey of Montecassino. It was was destroyed by an earthquake in 990. The temple was rebuilt in the early eleventh century, from the monk Theobald, who renewed both the apse and the lower part of the facade. The current scheme of the church with three apses is the result of further transformations that have occurred over the centuries. The church today has three naves divided by pillars and covered by wooden trusses, replacing the original coffered ceiling. Inside the church you can admire the exquisite mosaic floor of the ‘200 and some pieces of frescoes dating back to the thirteenth century. Externally and close to the right edge stands the impressive square bell tower dating back to the first decades of the twelfth century.
Unfortunately it was devastated by a terrible earthquake that struck the area in 900, leaving it in ruins. According to various documents it was rebuilt later in the eleventh century by the monk Theobald who described the the poor conditions of the church calling it “small and dark” (Theobals is represented in a fresco while holding the church with the bell tower and porch).
Outside the churc is possible to sdmire the bell tower with a square base and three floors carachterized from the bottom to the top by single-light (monofore), mullioned (bifore) and trifore. This architectural solution has the goal both of lighten the weight of the structure and to create a soar as the tower riches the sky.