Built in a hard location to reach, on the slopes of the Santa Croce mountain, the Abbey Benedectine of San Cassiano is a fortified structure which dominates the Via Flaminia and the underlying river of Nera.
The Abbey of San Cassiano which observes Narni from the opposite mountain.
Placed to control the passage on the Gole del Nera, and faced towards the valley of Terni, in the direction of Spoleto from where the enemy could arrive, is mentioned in the Chronicon Farfense as active already from 1081, but its foundation needs to be more ancient.
A small sarcophagus of the 1st century, donated to Blessed Orso – probably the first abbot of the Abbey – by Crescenzio di Teodorada, takes us back at least a century.
It is probable, also, that the first benedictine monks built the building above the remains of a pre-existed Byzantine certificate monastery of the 6th century place to control the homonymous Corridor.
Around 1400 became the Abbey and we know that the last abbot was Cardinal Ferretti, already state secretary of Pio IX.
Restored during the last century the complex was completely restored and in 1970 became the set of the movie with Nino Manfredi “Per grazia ricevuta”, filmed even in the Sacred Speco of San Francesco.
The architecture of one the most suggestive abbeys of Umbria.
The abbey, fortificat and protect by crenellated walls, is made up , in addition to the church, surmounted by the bell tower with the cusp in the shape of a quadrangular pyramid, by a complex of structures i the past used by monks and even today available to any pilgrims.
The Church of San Cassiano.
The church, although modified in the fourteenth century, remains linked to Byzantine models.
The restore works gave back to the church its original aspect: it is discovered that in origin had a Greek cross plant with the centre four arches wider and three apses, in which where in one of them there is the tower bell.
The facade has a beautiful door with pillars and concentric arches ; it misses the fresco of the lunetta, but it was rebuilt a three-light window and three oval openings at the top.
Inside, the arms of the Greek cross open with round arches and rest on marble columns adorned with elegant bases and capitals.
The Hiking tour to the Abbey of San Cassiano.
The Abbey and the Cammino dei Protomartiri Francescani.
The four stop of the suggestive Cammino dei Protomartiri Francescani (The Way of the Franciscan Protomartyrs ) – from Narni to San Gemini – pass on the abbey before to reach the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Ponte, a place frequented by pilgrims since ancient times, and, in the locality of Cerqua, the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Cerqua.
Abbey of San Cassiano
Strada S. Casciano, 36, 05035 Narni Scalo, Narni TR
The Abbey of San Cassiano is closed now, but there are organized guide tours.
- It is possible to reach:
by car through a narrow street which starts from Narni Scalo;
- or arriving from the Augusto Bridge through a path into the woods.
It is advisable to park the car near the remains of the Augustus Bridge, in via Tre Ponti.
Continue to walk with us discovering what to see inside the walls of Narni.
Or discover the points of interest of Narni and of its territory: