Image: Monte Cassino


  • 1 Monte Cassino

  • Monte Cassino

    Monte Cassino, Benedictine monastery, situated on the hill of the same name overlooking the town of Cassino, Italy, northwest of Naples. Founded in 529 by Saint Benedict of Nursia on the site of an Apollonian temple, the monastery became the home of the Benedictine Order and was for many centuries the leading monastery in western Europe. It was destroyed by Lombards in 590, by Saracens in 884, and by earthquake in 1349, and was rebuilt each time. The present buildings are in the style of the 16th and 17th centuries. During the 11th and 12th centuries it was a center of learning, particularly in the field of medicine. The famous medical school at Salerno was established by Monte Cassino monks. In 1866, when monasticism was abolished in Italy, Monte Cassino was made a national monument. After the collapse (1943) of the Italian Fascist regime during World War II, German troops occupied the town of Cassino. Monte Cassino, which was believed to be in use by the Germans as a fortress, was severely damaged during the course of the subsequent Allied siege of the town; it was later reconstructed.

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