Monday, 27 February 2012 21:07

Abbey of San Bernardo

Written by  matta
Rate this item
(0 votes)


Within the tiny town of Fontevivo, in the province of Parma, sits the Abbey of San Bernardo, a particularly imposing monumental complex, considered to be the first direct offspring of the Abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba. It was founded in 1142, by a group of Cistercian monks from Chiaravalle, under the auspices of a reclamation initiative in the surrounding area promoted by the Marquis Pallavicino of Busseto. The abbey experienced a turbulent history after its construction, which lasted for the entire twelfth century and the first decades of the thirteenth. In 1245 it was sacked by the militias of Frederick II. The Cistercians remained at Fontevivo until 1546, when it passed to the Benedictine jurisdiction of San Giovanni Evangelista in Parma, ordered by the Farnese. In 1733, it became the seat of the College of Nobles of Parma, undergoing radical transformations. Beginning in the mid-19th century, it began to be used by the commune of Fontevivo as an ordinary parish.

Much of the complex was remodeled in the 17th and 18th centuries, with the exception of the church itself, which, after recent restorations, preserves its original Romanesque appearance. But while the structure of the church resembles the modular style of Cistercian constructions, its brick façade is in sharp contrast, rebuilt in the 15th century. Corbel tables and larger blind arches decorate the perimeter of the building along the side, transept and apse. The interior is luminous from the pale plastered surfaces, creating a vibrant contrast with the red brick of the pilasters, arcades and ribs.


Additional Info

  • Address: Strada Villa di Sotto, 7 43010 Fontevivo PR
  • Province:
  • Phone: +39 0521 610160
  • Opening Days and Time:

    Lunedì – domenica 8,00-12,00 / 14,00-19,00

  • Guided Tour: Per visite guidate contattare l'associazione Rabisch (Tel: +39 338 6357868 - Si offrono visite per gruppi di studenti, adulti e disabili. Guide disponibili in lingue straniere.
  • Recommended Restaurants:
Last modified on Tuesday, 28 February 2012 15:56