In a wild valley in the heart of Tuscany lies the Gothic abbey of San Galgano, built between 1220 and 1268 CE by the Cistercian monks’ Order. To explain its origin and location, we must take a few steps back by rediscovering a name: Galgano Guidotti, the 'knight of God'.
This was the beginning of a symbol, a destination with a symbolic and religious value that led to the construction of a chapel to protect and venerate the sword. In a few years after Galano’s death a worship building, better known as the "Rotonda" or "Eremo of San Galgano", was built on his hermitage. Today the complex is still visitable on the mountain of Montesiepi, just next to the gigantic abbey which lies down the hill. The Rotunda is a circular building that still encloses and guards the sword that Galgano drove into the rock.
However, the abbey suffered a turbulent history, starting with a slow decline in 1348 CE, when the Black Death decimated the active Cistercian monks.
From here, the complex was characterised by continuous deterioration. For years the abbey was plundered of everything, including fixtures and fittings, giving today’s unique appearance, making the place an incredible and fabulous open-air place of past memories.
Today, this place envelops the air with a legendary atmosphere. There are many rumours and attempts to trace this place to stories such as King Arthur or peculiar connections to the Templars. What is certain, however, is this place's visual and emotional power that allows its visitors to travel through time, imagining the "dark" times of the Middle Ages, characterised by blood and faith.