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The Abbeys

The religious reorganization of the territory

On the bumpy structure of the Roman world, next to feudalism, had started operating a new force that practised its beneficial influence in all European countries: monasticism. Especially the Benedictine, organized by the idea of "ora et labora" it was the heir of the Roman spirit organization and had engaged in a double enterprise, spiritual redemption and the materialism of society by promoting extensive reclamation of wetlands to be devoted to agricultural use.

The center of this activity was the abbey, which architecturally derived from that closed Roman rural complex that took the name of fundus and then become very often a castle or Venetian villa. The abbey complex is organized around a series of cloisters (roof, rustic and botanical).

The monasticism was joined by another religious organization: that of agriculture policies and military orders like the Templars and hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, who along what remained of the Roman roads, usually traveled by pilgrims and merchants, built hospices and shelters where later arise villas of Venetian nobles, when they became owners of those vast possessions.

The importance is not only spiritual but also political and economic assumed by the religious authorities, it reached its climax when to the bishops-accounts was entrusted by imperial nomination, the administration of vast regions. We count among these Abbeys:

  • San Zeno, Verona
  • Neustift (owner of Trenitino-Alto Adige)
  • Santa Augusta, Serravalle
  • St. Augustine, Vicenza
  • San Benedetto Po, Mantova
  • Santa Maria di Praglia; Padua
  • San Lorenzo, Trento

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