Abbey of Cerrate

Enhancement of the Abbey of Cerrate: Agreement between Provincia and FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano).

Abbey of Cerrate

The Abbey of Cerrate.

It is located between Squinzano and Casalabate one of the many hidden treasures of Salento, dating back to the twelfth century.

The Abbey of Santa Maria of Cerrate was founded in the late twelfth century by Tancredi d'Altavilla, Count of Lecce. The legend tells that in this place the Virgin Mary appeared to Tancredi, between the horns of a deer, so the name Cerrate or Cervate. The town was for a long time, at least until the sixteenth century, an important religious and cultural center, hosting a group of Basilian monks. In 1531 the complex was under the control of the Hospital of the Incurables in Naples: in addition to the church there were stalls, a well, a mill and two oil mills.

Used as a farm, in 1711 the abbey was sacked by Turkish pirates and fell into a state of disrepair, until it was restored in 1965 by the architect Franco Minissi. The land on which stands the Abbey has in fact become the property of the provincial administration of Lecce which transformed the entire architectural work in a museum, as well as a research center for Salento’s folk and traditions. From this intervention was born in fact the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions of Salento.

How to reach the Abbey of Cerrate

Along the S.S. 613 Lecce - Brindisi, exit direction Casalabate - Squinzano. Continue for about 4km, the Abbey of Cerrate is on the right. GPS Coordinates: 40.458587,18.115594

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  • Updated datetime: 28 March 2014 - 16:03

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