The Abbey of San Galgano

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The Abbey of San Galgano is a Circestian building and it rises approximately 30 km to the West of Siena, in the village of Chiusdino.

The complex is composed of the hermitage (also called “Montesiepi’s Round”) and by the monumental Abbey. At present the big Abbey is deconsecrated and and left for good to lie in ruin as you can only find the walls. However it represents a very popular touristic destination.Due to the lack of the roof, which highlights the architectural structure of the Abbey, we can associate San Galgano with the Abbey of Melrose in Scotland, the Abbey of Kelso in Ireland and that of Eldena in Germany.

According to the legend, during Galgano Guidotti’s conversion in the Abbey in 1180, he deeply stuck his sword in a stone at top of Montesiepi hermitage, in an attempt to make the hilt form a cross. You can indeed find a rusty sword with its hilt plunged in a stone in the Montesiepi Round, now covered and protected by a shrine in plexiglass. 

Thanks to many points in common with the myth of King Arthur, several historians now argue that the Round Table legend and the heritage of San Chiusdino may share a common ground.

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