Monastero di S. Spirito d'Ocre (AQ)
Outlying village of Pretola the monastery of Santo Spirito is the only extant example of Cistercian fortified architecture in the Abruzzi; it was founded by the hermit Placito from Roio who settled in a cave on Monte Circolo and in a short time received by the Counts of Ocre a donation intended for the building of a monastery in the surroundings of Pretola, near-by his former hermitage.
The earliest nucleus of the monastery was built in 1222 and in 1248, when Placido from Roio died, Santo Spirito passed under the jurisdiction of the abbey of Casanova (Civitella Casanova, Pescara), the most important Cistercian settlement in the Abruzzi. In 1635 the papal bull "Instaurandae", issued by Innocent X, suppressed the monasteries with less than six monks, including Santo Spirito.
The plan of the monastery reflects the Cistercian dictates and adapts them to the uneven ground of the area; the church consists of one single nave with the entrance on the left side; the chapel-sacristy adjoining it corresponds probably to the earliest church erected by Placido from Roio. The cloister, around which the monks' rooms used to rise, has got destroyed, while the refectory, the dormitory, and the kitchens have been recently restored.
Now is a prestigious historical residence-hotel and restaurant
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