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This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Abbazia di Maguzzano

Abbazia di Maguzzano

Via Maguzzano, 4, Lonato BS

RELIGIONS Judaism, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox


It stands on the summit of a moraine hill near Lake Garda, in the current municipality of Lonato, just a few steps from the most famous Desenzano del Garda. The faint and unadorned impressive façade was rebuilt and restored several times over the centuries and for different purposes, but this sacred place has a story to tell that almost nobody knows. It's a long story, in which famous people alternate with others, completely unknown, in which the clumsy fights of the latter oppose the clumsy strikes launched by the former. A thousand long years of events that often saw the abbey poised, restless, unaware of the future that was awaiting for it. But let's go step by step. First of all we are talking of a Benedictine abbey of the 9th Century ... Indeed 10th century, because it was soon razed to the ground by the Hungarians, but immediately rebuilt.
In1438 the Abbey was completely destroyed by the Visconti troops. It was rebuilt in the early 16th century, a period of which it will retain its Renaissance style, in the beautiful cloister and in the adjoining church of Santa Maria Assunta, with precious frescoes which contain works of great artistic value. In its new architectural appearance, the Abbey of Maguzzano hosted, shortly thereafter, nothing less than the Council of Trento (1545-1563). It seems, in fact, that the cardinals, often of advanced age, could not bear the climate of harsh winters in the Alpine town and finding that, year after year, the cold decimated the prelates, they decided to look for a more comfortable place. In 1796 Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte established his encampments in Maguzzano. After almost a thousand years of free government, it will be suppressed by Napoleonic decree. Not only that: it will be dismembered, sold to landowners, looted and the Abbey was also sold to private individuals. It was looted of the works of art and its treasures, like the library of 53,000 ancient volumes, which it seems were burnt to warm up the French troops. The abbey became a simple farmhouse, welcomed the peasant families and hosted the activities of the countryside, sacrificing the last friezes of artistic value, then ending, in the following century, in total abandonment. At the beginning of the 20th century, new events and protagonists will once again see the Abbey rise from its ashes. In 1904, forced to leave Algeria, some French Trappist monks, Cistercians and therefore also Benedictines, before going back to France, stopped in Maguzzano. Their stay brought the Abbey back, if not to the splendor of the past, at least to rediscover its spiritual vocation, and the truce of several decades sounded like a blessing. When in 1938 the Trappists decided to return to France, a new disquieting scenario opened up for Maguzzano: what would have happened to the Abbey? The only solution seemed to be the sale, when a priest intervened with the help of some local women with a certain amount of financial resources to buy the abbey. The Abbey of Maguzzano inaugurated a new happy era of its history, became the dream realized by Don Calabria: the school. Transformed into a boarding school for orphans and children in conditions of economic need or with health problems, in the thirty years of activity, which ceased in 1970, hosted thousands of students from all over Italy who otherwise would not have never had access to education. Don Giovanni Calabria, who founded the congregation of the Poor Servants and the Poor Servants of Divine Providence, was proclaimed Saint by Pope John Paul II in 1999.
The Abbey, in the trace left by Don Calabria, pursues two main objectives: - Foster ecumenical dialogue, especially with the Protestant world in its various articulations - Promote spirituality through moments of aggregation and reflection, open to all but above all to the young generations
Fom the religious point of view the Abbey allows to reconstruct the events of European monasticism, and the initiatives promoted with regular cadence offer occasions of debate and meditation. The hospitality offered in the places of the Abbey makes it possible to attract a religious type of tourism that intends to retrace the events and the medieval pilgrims, detaching from the frenetic rhythms of metropolitan life.
Direct visit
Participation to some events
Knowledge of all proposals of community
Reading about activities
Readings about connections among art, music and religion

Associazione La Tenda - Prato, via Francesco Ferrucci, 607

Museo intereligioso Bertinoro - Via Frangipane, 6 47032 Bertinoro (FC)




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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.