Edited by Gianni Guadalupi
1994 / 58 PAGES.
Language: Three editions: Italian, French, English
A majestic architectural complex, the scene of legends, apparitions and battles, the Sacra (or Abbey) of San Michele is presented here through the great historical moments that saw it take centre stage.
Saints are drawn to steep places. Thus, around the year 1000, a pious hermit guided by the dazzling apparition of Saint Michael, built what is today seen as the symbolic monument of feudal monasticism at the entrance to the Val di Susa. A fortress-abbey dating back to the harsh Piedmont Middle Ages, rising between land and sky atop a prealpine crag and featuring steep, picturesque staircases. The abbey took on the role of fortress more than once (especially in the 16th century, during the interminable wars between France and Spain for Italian dominion), each time occupied by the troops of all the parts involved.
Thus, between legends tied to Saint Michael, turbulent battles and monastic life, the Sacra di San Michele is both one of the most outstanding examples of religious architecture in this alpine territory and a place of historical interest.