Home » Destinations » Italy » Chiusdino, Italy: The Abbey of San Galgano & the Sword in the Stone

Chiusdino, Italy: The Abbey of San Galgano & the Sword in the Stone

 

About the Abbey of San Galgano:

View of the Abbey By Vignaccia76 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4570662
View of the Abbey By Vignaccia76 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4570662

The abbey has no roof, and is open to the sky. The atmosphere is conducive for summer concerts and performances under the stars.

You can also see the “sword in the stone”, preserved for public viewing (covered by plexiglass). The sword has been tested to be dating from around the time this story took place. Further testing has not been done.

About San Galgano:

Well, this is the stuff of legends: An arrogant, licentious and selfish son of a feudal lord, Galgano (1148-1181) had a sudden change when, one day, he had a visit from Saint Michael the Archangel. Told that he should change his lifestyle, he replied that it would be easier to cut a stone with his sword than do so.

The sword in the stone. By Alexmar983 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13915764
The sword in the stone. By Alexmar983 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13915764

And, to prove his point, he plunged his sword into the rock……but the sword went smoothly in to the rock! He knelt to pray and vowed to become a hermit.

He was canonized in 1185, only four years after his death, by Pope Lucius III. A chapel was built around the sword in 1189: the “Rotonda della Spada.”

 

Traveling to Chiusdino:

Chiusdino is located about 20 miles southeast of Siena, which is the nearest train station.  From there you can take a bus.  Get train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here.

GPS coordinates: 43° 9′ 19.404” N, 11° 5′ 18.4992” E

Tel./Fax (+39) 0577 756 292

e-mail: [email protected]

Click here for the official website of the Commune of San Galgano

Click here to find hotels and B&B’s in Chiusdino, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor

 

⇐ Back to Catholic places of interest in Italy

 

Leave a Comment