Siena

Abbadia San Salvatore: village of torches and miners

Abbadia San Salvatore

Village of torches and miners

Abbadia San Salvatore is a modern, dynamic village. This is the first impression when you arrive in Abbadia: its heart, however, is still unspoiled.

But once you’ve crossed the old stone arches which mark the entry to the hamlet, you will feel catapulted into one of the few remaining “genuine” historical centre. Here you will see the original alleys which are still intact, together with the simple gestures of the locals.

The village is built around the Abbey which, according to the legend, was founded by the Lombard King Rachis after a vision of St. Salvator on the top of a shining spruce. The church was built with the stones of the mountain, precisely where the incredible event took place.

The church still exists and cherishes one of the earliest surviving manuscripts of the Catholic Bible in Latin (kwown as “Codex Amiatinus“) in its Greek cross crypt. We will see a facsimile of the original manuscript, today kept in Florence, during the visit to the Museums of the Abbey other interesting finds: for example Pope Saint Mark’s chasuble and reliquary bust.

Abbazia San Salvatore fondata, secondo la tradizione, dal re longobardo Ratchis
L'Abbazia, di origine antichissime, è già documentata nel 762 ed ebbe il suo periodo di massimo splendore tra il X e il XII secolo. Al suo interno, la splendida cripta con 24 capitelli originali, ricchi di decorazioni simboliche.
Parco Museo Minerario di Abbadia San Salvatore: dettaglio antichi binari
La vecchia miniera di cinabro di Abbadia, responsabile della crescita del paese nei primi anni del secolo scorso, è stata trasformata in un Parco Museo. Qui potrai rivivere le paure, la fatica dei vecchi minatori che trascorrevano giornate intere sotto il suolo, rischiando la propria vita. Ed infine potrai conoscere come sono cambiate le tecniche estrattive nel corso degli anni, con un coinvolgente giro in "treno".

However, progress and wealth came to Abbadia thanks to the cinnabar from Monte Amiata. Some of the working spaces of the mine (the third most important around the world) have been turned into a multimedia museum of the mercury. A really exciting and engaging itenerary which helps the visitors to understand the relation between Abbadia and its metallic deposits and to get to know the history of the miners who left their youth, their good health, sometimes their lifes in the underground tunnels.

Le fiaccole di Abbadia San Salvatore: prototipo fuori l'Abbazia
Una piccola catasta di legna, per dare un'idea di come vengono allestite quelle reali, le cui dimensioni raggiungono anche i 7 metri! Disseminate in tutte gli angoli e le piazze del paese, le fiaccole, contribuiscono a creare un'atmosfera incantata proprio nella notte più magica: la vigilia di Natale.

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