The Abbey Palace of Loreto, also known as the "Abbey of Loreto", is a place of historic and religious interest in Mercogliano.

It stands on a hill, although further down from the nearby Sanctuary of Montevergine. The building may have taken its name from a kitchen garden known as the “Orrita”, situated in the district of Vesta, or from the terms “laurum” and “lauretum”, due to the presence of bay trees on the hillside. The Palace and the Sanctuary are closely associated with the figure of Saint William of Vercelli (1085-1142). After he arrived on Mount Partenio to live as a hermit with a growing number of Christian ascetics, he first built a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and later an Infirmary for the Congregation of Williamite Monks, upon whom Saint William imposed a strict diet containing no meat, eggs or dairy. After the building was seriously damaged in the earthquake of 1732, it was replaced by the current Palace, built to a design by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro (1678-1745) and continued after his death by Michelangelo Di Biase, an architect from Naples.

The exterior of the Abbey Palace is characterised by an entrance with a frescoed vault, leading to the ground floor space comprising the gatehouse, parlour and pharmacy, which was in use until 1901 providing a service not only for the monks but also for the people in the nearby streets. From the atrium, two imposing stairways lead to the first-floor corridor, where we find the 25 paintings of the Gallery of Abbots, depicting the Abbots of the Congregation, and then to the chapterhouse. There are a series of 44 doors, an 18th-century lounge flanked by two apartments and an abbey residence. The other rooms worthy of note include the Diocesan Archive and of course the State Library of Montevergine, which is one of 11 libraries in Italy to be listed as a national monument. The Abbey Palace also houses the "Premiata Fabbrica di Liquori" (Established Liquor Factory) of the Benedictine Fathers of Montevergine, where a series of liquors is produced including the famous anthemis, obtained from a tiny fragrant flower found on Mount Partenio. The rooms in the Cellar also conceal an apiary, which produces various types of honey now recognised as PAT ("Prodotto Agroalimentare Tradizionale" or "Italian Agri-food Product") by the region of Campania.

A must-see artistic and historic attraction with an unusual octagonal shape, the Abbey Palace of Loreto is one of the most important art treasures in Irpinia, and is located in a unique natural setting. 

Foto Gallery
Comune di riferimento
Via Loreto, 1, 83013 Mercogliano AV, Italia
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dalle 09:00 alle 17:00

Poligono GEO

Palazzo Abbaziale di Loreto

Via Loreto, 1, 83013 Mercogliano AV, Italia

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