Passions & Places

Abbazia Santa Maria delle Moje

Abbazia Santa Maria delle Moje

The Benedictine Abbey was built on the banks of the Esino river. It has been named after the characteristic bushes that grow in such an environment: “moje”. 

It was anciently surrounded by woods called “Santa”. The abbey was founded as private monastery by Attoni – Alberici – Gozoni families at the beginning of XI Century. The Abbey greatly developed from 1295 to 1400 so much as to own up to 430ha of land. The decay (beginning of XVI) was due to the decreased number of monastic vocations. Benedictine monks remained as far as 1456 when Papa Callisto III put the place under the care of the Chapter of the Jesi Cathedral. 

The first restoring works were carried out in 1524. An epigraph stands as evidence of them above the entrance. The Abbey was then given the importance of a parish by the Council of Trent.
It was so provided with baptismal font. The Abbey was later restored in 1788. The altar was moved behind the main door that was closed. A new entrance was opened in the central apse in the same years. 

The main part of the monastery collapsed. The ruins were then restored by the Sopraintendenza ai Monumenti de Le Marche in 1919-1924. After these works the abbey has been listed among the Italian Monuments with national importance. 
The Abbey is sided by the ancient Flambenga road and on the other by the Esino river.

Santa Maria delle Moje Abbey is a Romanic building. It is composed by a forepart and the church itself. The Abbey is built in regular, limestone blocks. There are four pillars in the middle and five apses. Three of them are at the bottom of the church and the two remaining ones are one on each side. 

The church is divided into three naves culminating in the apses and separated by two pillars with cross like base. 

The central navy is covered by a vaulted ceiling while the side ones by a cross vaulted ceiling. 

The third storey of the forebody is divided into different rooms.
A quadrangular bell tower stands next to it. Cubic capitals decorated with floral elements, brank-ursine leaves and small palm together with the frames of the side apses decorated with wolf teeth are the ornamental elements of the church. 

The portal outside has been completely restored. It presents a moulding composed of three archivolts sustained by semi-pillars and semi-columns. 

The whole portal is decorated with vegetal elements (palms, vine-shoots ornate with stylized leaves, caules and small roses).

Not much of the Monastery has survived the centuries: a rectangular room covered in brick barrel vault with a stair case leading to an underground room covered by a cross vaulted ceiling and a second communicating space covered in four beautiful cross vaults (it was probably the Capitular Hall). 

The underground room is served by 3 tunnels and the second space can be accessed also from the yard (anciently cloister).


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