The Romanesque Abbey

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Via Flanbenga, Maiolati Spontini, Ancona, Italy

Situated on the left bank of the river and along the ancient Via Esino Flanbenga, the abbey of Santa Maria delle Moie was probably founded in the early sec.X1 family Attoni-Alberici-Gozoni monastery as private. Built in the middle of a vast forest, the abbey formed the Renaissance Center in the area. Abbey was in plain near an ancient marshy area that stretched along the Esino called molie from which it derived its name: a document of 1219 is in fact called molie S. Mariae plani, with reference also to the flat area in which it was deployed. The abbey was adjacent to a wooded area referred to as Silva Carpineta, not far away there was a bridge that allowed the passage on the right bank of the river Esino.
In the centuries x1-x11 received numerous donations from land register of 1295 shows that Santa Maria delle Moie had an area of ​​about one hundred sixty-five hectares and four mills. The power of the Benedictine monastery grew, however, in sec. XV when he reached an area of ​​428 hectares. The church was restored in 1524: witness a plaque on the west façade. The restoration was perhaps motivated by the poor state of the medieval towers and caused the transformation of the upper body western Europe, where it was placed the house of the priest. To 1524 was also the current bell tower. In 1600 the diocesan bishop Marcus Agrippa Dandini raised in the parish church of Santa Maria delle Moie.

The structure
The church is composed of hewn stone of yellowish sandstone. Inside is supported by four pillars and divided into three naves, divided into three bays: the nave is slightly elevated and cuspidata. On the east end all the aisles with a semicircular apse. From this side apses, which differ in height and depth, highlight the form of a basilica church. Two are the apses protruding outward on the north side, decorated as the cornice, with arches in white travertine, partly supported by pairs of semi-cylindrical pilasters crowned by small capitals without decoration. Before entering the church is a place atrium, square and covered cross flanked by two similar environments from the plant, the left of which houses a spiral staircase. The portal has a splayed column tiers and is decorated with interwoven leaves and flowers.

Historical and artistic elements
The most interesting elements of the church of Santa Maria are the apses and above the plant (mt.15x15 c.ca) that, based on the four pillars internal blocks, remember not so much Byzantine models as triconchi early Christian buildings and a Greek cross inscribed square medieval, popular in Italy and joined for the first time together architecturally San Claudio al Chienti. The characteristics of the elevation of Santa Maria delle Moie, a nave barrel vault acute little higher on the sides, and the twin-tower facade have important precedents in the Marche. With regard to the type, the main reference is the abbey church of Santa Maria di Portonovo of Ancona. With regard to the facade, which was originally a twin tower, precedents in Italy are the Cathedral of St. John and Bobbio in Como where, as in Moie, the span of entry that is located between the two towers is combined with a gallery . The church is dedicated to the Nativity of Mary, and a picture of this subject adorned the altar.

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