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The town of Contessa Entellina

Tourism in Contessa Entellina

The Abbey of Santa Maria del Bosco

Built between 1592 and 1646, the Abbey was in its time one of the most powerful and rich place of Sicily.

Its structure is made by a main building with a rectangular shape and it is crossed by a wing and divided inside in two parts by two cloisters in Classical style.

The first cloister has a square plan and 36 columns with Doric capitals and spaced by small arches and niches.

In the middle there is a fountain of the XVII century with an octagonal base. Second cloister has a rectangular base and round arches on simple columns supported by high plinths and Doric capitals. Also in this case in the middle it is placed a fountain which is dated back to 1713.

The Abbey raises on four levels: two basements with service places, a ground floor with cloisters, refectory, novitiate and further service places and in the end a first floor with friars' rooms.

To enter into large refectory it passed through second cloister: the hall dates back to 1644 and it is decorated with a precious fresco made in the XVIII century and representing the Moltiplicazione dei Pani (the Miracle of the Loaves).

To the upper floors it enters through two valuable flight of steps in steatite. In these floors it possible to see friars' rooms, the ancient library, guest-rooms, other rooms and the private chapel of abbot adjacent to his room.

The adjoining church, built between 1643 and 1757, is placed between the monastery and the imposing bell-tower with pyramidal cusp. Structure of the building is in Latin cross with only a nave and it is made in grey stone.

The front has decorations made with squared ashlars with pilasters and Corinthian capitals and in the middle an elegant rose window of best workmanship.

Heavily damaged by the earthquake of 1968, the church has been emptied of its furnitures which are however visible in various museums in this area.