Abbazia di Pomposa

Via Pomposa Centro, 12 - 44021 Codigoro - Ferrara   see map - Contact
The Pomposa abbey located in the municipality of Codigoro in the province of Ferrara is an abbey dating back to the 9th century and one of the most important in all of Northern Italy. The Pomposa Abbey, a masterpiece of Romanesque art dating back to the VI-VII century, announces itself in the distance with its towering 48-meter high bell tower. The Pomposian monastery welcomed illustrious personalities of the time, including Guido d'Arezzo, the monk who invented musical writing based on the seven notes. In the Church of Santa Maria it is possible to admire a cycle of Giotto-inspired frescoes and the magnificent mosaic floor. On the opposite side, however, there are the Cloister, the Refectory, the Chapter Hall, the Palazzo della Ragione and the Pomposiano Museum.

Abbazia di Pomposa History

A masterpiece of Romanesque art, the abbey can be recognized from afar with its high bell tower, with its simple facade preceded by a portico decorated in terracotta and marble and by its warm reddish brick color; built on what was an island in ancient times (insula Pomposia) surrounded by the waters of the river Po and the sea, the abbey was, during the Middle Ages, one of the most important in northern Italy when from after the year one thousand it became a thriving center of culture thanks to the Benedictine order, its amanuensis monks and the vast library.

The abbey church with a late-Ravenna basilica appearance is internally divided into three naves by two rows of Ravenna-Byzantine style columns; the main nave immediately catches the eye of the observer: long and very high walls decorated with a fresco of the Bolognese school, divided into three superimposed registers, which unfolds like a huge scroll showing biblical scenes in a chronological evolution with stories of the Old Man, of the New Testament and the Apocalypse.

In the apsidal basin there is a fresco of Christ in glory surrounded by angels, saints and the Virgin, by Vitale da Bologna from 1351; below the fresco you can see the evangelists, doctors of the Church and the cycle dedicated to the stories of Saint Eustace.
On the internal wall of the façade the Last Judgment is represented, which takes up above all explicit references to the Gospel of Matthew.

To the side of the church stands the bell tower built in 1063 by the architect Deusdedit, as can be read on a plate in the western wall; similar to the bell tower of the nearby abbey of San Mercuriale di Forlì, it is divided into nine modules where there are windows that, from the bottom up, become increasingly large and numerous, providing the building with lightness and momentum also accentuated by the spire roof .

Abbazia di Pomposa

Time period
  • Middle Ages
  • Italy, Ferrara
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Abbazia di Pomposa
  Via Pomposa Centro, 12 - 44021 Codigoro
  +39 0533 719110

Abbazia di Pomposa
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