This mysterious abbey was the inspiration for "The Name of the Rose" and one of the seven monasteries of the "straight line of the sword of St. Michael"
A fire has inflicted damage on the Sacra di San Michele, the monastery which inspired by Umberto Eco. The 10th-century abbey, sits on Mount Pirchiriano in the Val di Susa in Piedmont. The site greatly influenced the imagination of Eco and helped him bring his vivid characters to life. Thanks to the film adaptation, the Sacra di San Michele became widely known.
According to local media, on the evening of January 23, the fire started in the area of the guesthouse and gradually spread throughout the abbey. Although the cause of the fire is unknown, the evidence points to a short circuit.
Rescuers worked late into the night to prevent the fire from spreading, and while there was significant damage which will take months to repair, the building is largely intact.
Piedmont Regional Councilor for Culture, Antonella Parigi told La Stampa, “The first concern was for the fathers, fortunately they are all well and fortunately the fire has affected a part that seems easily repairable. ”
The Sacra di Saint Michele is an icon for the Italian Piedmont. The site receives some 100,000 tourists annually. In addition to its association with The Name of the Rose, the Sacra di San Michele begins the so-called “sentiero dei Franchi” (path of the Franks) and also an important pilgrimage route: The Via Francigena.
The Sacra di San Michele is located in the mysterious imaginary line that unites seven monasteries related to the angels, from Ireland to Israel. This line is known as the Sacred Line of Saint Michael the Archangel and The Sword of Saint Michael.
The Sacred Line of Saint Michael the Archangel marks, according to the legend, the sword’s blow that the Saint inflicted on the Devil to send the Evil One to the hell after an apocalyptic battle in the skies. Each of the seven monasteries in the Sacred Line are dedicated to St. Michael.
This article first appeared in Aleteia’s Spanish edition. Edited and updated by Zelda Caldwell.