The Celestinian Hermitage of the Madonna of the Altar is perched on a cliff that makes the building impenetrable on three sides. Composed of a church, a residential nucleus and a hanging garden, it was built by the Celestines in the early 1300s to hand down the memory of the first hermit residence of Pietro da Morrone and later of Pope Celestino V
Eremo Celestiniano della Madonna dell’Altare History
Set on the slopes of Monte Porrara at 1278m. of altitude in the municipality of Palena, the Celestinian Hermitage of the Madonna of the Altar was built by the Celestines in the early 1300s to hand down the memory of Pietro da Morrone's first hermit residence, later Pope Celestino V. Here he lived, for three years, in a small cave, still open to the public, so cramped low (dug with his bare hands) that he could hardly welcome him standing or lying down. The sanctuary remained in the possession of the Celestines until the dissolution of the order in 1807, then passed to the family of the Baroni Perticoni who made it their summer residence until 1970, when the hermitage was donated to the Municipality of Palena. The sanctuary complex is formed by the church, a housing complex, the courtyard and the hanging garden. The structure was restructured in 1994, thanks to the national funds allocated following the earthquake of 1984 that had caused the collapse of the roof of the housing part.