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A short distance from the Naquane Rock Carvings National Park, in Capo di Ponte, in the Camonica Valley, lies the complex known as the Monastery of San Salvatore. The first documents attest to the presence of monks already at the end of the 11th century; in 1095, a bull of Urban II, a Cluniac pope, indicated that he was employed by the priory of San Paolo d’Argon. Acquired in 2002 by the Camunitas Foundation, the Monastery has undergone refurbishment works and is part of the European network of Cluniac sites, sponsored by the Council of Europe as the “Great European itinerary”.


At the entrance, on the left, a rose garden ideally connects the monastery to the Parish Church of San Siro, another Romanesque jewel located on the opposite orographic side. The church, dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Holy Savior, is a splendid example of Lombard Romanesque art, with elements typical of Burgundian Romanesque buildings. Outside there are some remains of the monastic walls, a Roman funeral altar and a stone with a Latin inscription that recalls a retiarius gladiator named Rutumanna. A few meters further on, the Giardino dei Semplici. The structure takes up the medieval division into four sectors, where the avenues represent the four rivers that flowed from the Garden of Eden. In the center a pomegranate, the tree of life.


The first document that mentions the presence of Cluny possessions in Capo di Ponte dates back to 1087. In 1095, a bull of Pope Urban II to Abbot Hugh of Cluny, documents that in the Valley there is a Cluniac monastery, called San Salvatore de Tegiis, subordinate to the priory of San Paolo d’Argon. The church was built between 1110 and 1130, after its constitution as an autonomous priory in 1120. San Salvatore is the northernmost of the Brescian Cluniac monasteries. The place is immersed in peace and nature and surrounded by an area with evidence of prehistoric and Roman times, rich in legends, including that of a small treasure and a library, belonging to the monks, stolen or destroyed in the fire of the 1270.

In 1460 the official state of the monasteries was drawn up and in San Salvatore there were only one monk and the prior. Shortly after, in 1465, it ceases to be a Cluniac priory. In 1535 it was assigned to Durante Duranti, archpriest of Cemmo, who later became a cardinal and bishop, among the benefits of the Cathedral of Brescia. In 1797 the Republic of Brescia suppresses the chapter of the cathedral and the priory is dissolved. In 1798 Andrea Cogordani, a leather trader of French origin, bought the houses and some land. It became the property of Giacomo Rizzi in 1880, followed by the reconstruction and rededication of the church. In 2002 it was purchased by the Camunitas Foundation and in 2008 it became part of the European network of Cluniac sites – a great European cultural itinerary.


The interior is well preserved but was originally enriched with plaster, statues and furnishings. The Romanesque vaults are original. The sculptures of the capitals have allegorical meanings, a fusion of popular culture and complex theological concepts, in which the artist is not concerned with imitating natural forms but with combining symbols (sirens, amphisbene, biblical scenes, eagles). The frescoes represent a Crucifix and two saints, Lorenzo and Glisente in a mountain landscape; St. Peter Martyr; fragments in the apse of a probable Coronation of the Madonna, with Apostles and Saints, attributable to the school of Giovan Pietro da Cemmo.


Information for opening and visits: Pro Loco Capo di Ponte, tel. 0364.42080.


Sed arcu non odio euismod lacinia at quis. Risus sed vulputate odio ut enim blandit volutpat.

  • Deer Lake
  • Trekking
  • $230
  • Labrador

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