Monte Cassino

(redirected from Abbey of Montecassino)
Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Monte Cassino

(môn`tā käs-sē`nō), monastery, in Latium, central Italy, E of the Rapido River. Situated on a hill (1,674 ft/510 m) overlooking Cassino, it was founded c.529 by St. BenedictBenedict, Saint
, d. c.547, Italian monk, called Benedict of Nursia, author of a rule for monks that became the basis of the Benedictine order, b. Norcia (E of Spoleto).
..... Click the link for more information.
 of Nursia, whose rule became that of all Benedictine houses in the world. Monte Cassino was throughout the centuries one of the great centers of Christian learning and piety; its influence on European civilization is immeasurable (see BenedictinesBenedictines,
religious order of the Roman Catholic Church, following the rule of St. Benedict [Lat. abbr.,=O.S.B.]. The first Benedictine monastery was at Monte Cassino, Italy, which came to be regarded as the symbolic center of Western monasticism. St.
..... Click the link for more information.
). Its greatest abbot after St. Benedict was Desiderius (later Pope Victor III) in the 11th cent. The buildings of the abbey were destroyed four times: by the Lombards (c.581); by the Arabs (883); by an earthquake (1349); and, after their restoration in the 17th cent., by a concentrated Allied aerial bombardment in 1944 (see CassinoCassino
, town (1991 pop. 32,787), in Latium, central Italy, in the Apennines, on the Rapido River. It is a commercial and agricultural center, and the site of a Fiat auto assembly plant. The peace between Emperor Frederick II and Pope Gregory IX was signed there in 1230.
..... Click the link for more information.
). The German garrison, who had used the abbey as a fortress, survived the bombing in previously dug caves, but the buildings were flattened and most of their art treasures destroyed. A considerable part of the library's collection of invaluable manuscripts was saved by the monks. The monastery was rebuilt again after World War II.

Monte Cassino

a hill above Cassino in central Italy: site of intense battle during World War II: site of Benedictine monastery (530 ad), destroyed by Allied bombing in 1944, later restored