Abbazia di Santo Spirito a Morrone
The monastery of Santo Spirito on Morrone, also called Badia Morronese, is the mother-house of the order of Celestinian Friars and rises at the foot of Monte Morrone, in the surroundings of Sulmona.
The church was founded in 1259, when the bishop of Valva granted permission to build a church consecrated to Santa Maria of Morrone by request of two hermits sent by Pietro from Morrone, the future Pope Celestin V.
In the course of the XII century the primary monastery was enlarged and received a large number of landed estates, so that it extended its property to an area of 1600 square meters. The belfry and a number of new monastic rooms were added in the XVI century; in the XVII a new church was built and, after an earthquake in 1706, it was restored and adjusted.
The Celestinian order was suppressed in 1807 and the abbey was turned at first into a Royal College, then into a Hospice, subsequently into a prison and finally it became the seat of the Superintendence Offices and of Majella Park.
The building has a rectangular plan with four corner-towers, which probably date back to the beginning of the XIX century, and three internal yards. The church has one single nave and its faade shows the influence of the style promoted by the Italian architect Borromini. The so called Caldora Chapel was later built on the ruins of the ancient Santa Maria on Morrone; it exhibits a beautiful cycle of frescoes and preserves a funeral monument carried out by Gualtiero from Alemagna.