The church of San Benedetto is located in Via San Benedetto in Salerno and it was part of the Benedictine monastery (now army barracks), to which was connected the aqueduct, still visible in via Arce and built, according to popular legend, by the magician Peter Barliario in a single night and with the help of devils from that, its name "Bridges of the Devil". Today a part of the monastery houses the the Unified Circle of Military garrison and the Provincial Archaeological Museum.
The church and monastery of St. Benedict stood originally on Orto Magno at the city walls. The first news of their existence dates back to '868, when they are mentioned in a legal act which attributed some lands to the convent.
It's not known who is the founder, according to someone the church already existed in the early Christian era, but it appears more likely that Arechi II or his son Grimoald III built it during the end of the eighth century. In '930 the monastery assumed the rank of abbey becoming an important religious center in southern Italy aabove of all Benedictine monasteries of the Principality of Calabria.
The Napoleonic laws suppressed the monastery in 1807 and in 1811 the church becomes a theater, the "Real Teatro di San Gioacchino", and then "St. Matthew": it will remain so until 1845, when, back in the possession of the Church, it is reused for liturgical use with the title of "Santissimo Crocifisso", from the cross of the miracle of Barliario, now housed in the Diocesan Museum.
In 1868 the Municipality of Salerno uses the church to deposit the military district; only in 1963 the Ministry of Defence returned the church back to the Curia and in 1965 works began on the restoration and recovery of the original structures. After the loss incurred by the 1980 earthquake, the church reopened for worship. Ancient monastery, can be visited on request, the cloister and some cells (one of which, the largest and the only one from which you see the sea, is called cell Gregory VII).
The Monastery of San Benedetto
The Monastery of San Benedetto was built in the Longobard era, between the seventh and ninth century, near the eastern walls of the city of Benevento on a plateau called Hortus Magnus. It was important in the Middle Ages, the establishment of the Medical School, as many Benedictine monks were also doctors and St. Benedict itself had established that at every convent was to be set up a hospital: in the monastery monks from other convents came often to train as doctors. The fifteenth century marked a lucky moment in which they were made several works of restoration and decoration and in 1581 the abbey passed into the hands of the congregation Olivetani. In the early nineteenth century the monastery was suppressed as a result of the laws enacted by Joseph Napoleon. The church, which was part of the Benedictine monastery, was later used as the Real Teatro and only in 1857 it was reused for liturgical use and a parish with the title of the Santissimo Crocifisso, resulting from the cross of Barliario, today in the Diocesan Museum. This crucifix is shrouded in legend that the magician Peter Barilario saw the face of Christ on the Byzantine crucifix on which he was praying, after spending two days of penance for killing his nephews. In 1868 the church was used as a depot of the military district and it is only in 1965 that work began to recover the original structure, after the church was returned to the Curia.
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