Built by the Cistercian monks on a previous foundation in 1084, it is a precious example of Lombard Cistercian architecture and marks the transition from Romanesque to Gothic; In short, it became an important economic and social center, thanks to the deforestation and reclamation of the surrounding territories and thanks to the continuous donations that made the wealth of the Benedictine monks grow exponentially and allowed a large community of artisans to form around the monastery. earth workers who worked under the monks.
Abbazia del Cerreto History
In 1439, Pope Eugene IV, following the fact that the monks of Cerreto had supported the antipope Felix V, placed the abbey under the commandery of the Roman curia and transferred to it the benefits derived from his possessions.
After the Council of Trent, and with the overall reorganization of the Church, the Abbey of Cerreto was, in 1571, established in the Parish. Since the Cistercian rule forbade the abbey church to function as a parish, a small church was built adjacent to it and a monk became the parish priest of the villages of peasants and craftsmen who stood all around the abbey and in the territories of his possession .
With the spread of the Baroque style important structural changes were undertaken, as well as new decorations and decorations were introduced, such as the oval windows in the chapels, the reconstruction of the façade, the use of marble and bricks and finally, by Stefano da Legnano, the wooden choir of the church was built, a work of considerable artistic value.
With the suppression of the Cistercian order in the Napoleonic era, the assets of the Abbey were sold in 1801 to the Marquis Giorgio Teodoro Trivulzio. The duke of Carriera in 1872, having come into possession of the land, donated everything to his death at the "Duchessa di Galliera" hospital in Genoa.
However, already at the end of the nineteenth century the new Italian state realized the great artistic heritage represented by the abbey and allocated the first funds to make it return to its ancient splendor. Baroque style additions and modifications to the façade were removed and the tower restored to its original form. After decades of work and commitment, the church has therefore arrived at us in its substantial original configuration.