Founded before the year one thousand, the abbey of Carceri was for centuries the protagonist of historical and cultural events in northern Italy.
Its long history has been marked by periods of splendor alternating with periods of great decadence, plunder and destruction, from which, however, is resurrected every time.
Today is a big complex, full of architectural and artistic stratified over time, a landmark for the history and culture of the Padua area.
The first period, until the year 1407, is linked to the history and life of the Augustinian monks, who reclaimed this land, erecting levees for harness water, building roads and making it fertile and habitable campaigns. In 1407 the Augustinian monks left Prisons decimated by famine due to plagues and invasions of locusts, very frequent in those periods.
To revive the abbey of Carceri Pope Gregory XII moved ownership and care of the church and monastery of the Camaldolese Monks, with the Camaldolese Abbey experienced a period of extraordinary splendor.
The monks continued the reclamation of the land, expanded the facilities of the abbey that was equipped with four cloisters, built a large hall for library, a Guesthouse for pilgrims, and after a dreadful fire, rebuilt and enlarged the church which in 1686 it was consecrated by St. Gregory Barbarigo.
In 1690 Pope Alexander VIII abolished the Abbey of Carceri and its territories were auctioned to fund the Republic of Venice in the war against the Turks. The entire monastery complex with its works of art, books, pottery and thousands of cultivated fields were bought by the Counts Carminati who transformed it into a farm. The significant volumes of the library objects and most valuable finds were sold, stolen or left to decay.
In 1950, after periods of decadence and extravagance that led the Carminati family to ruin, what remained of the abbey complex was donated to the parish of Carceri, the current manager of the abbey.
Even today we can see the evidence of the various historical passages by this outstanding complex : from the medieval era remain: a cloister of 1150 , the presbytery of the church with the bell tower built in 1300 and the beautiful baptistery , frescoed in 1350. From the period Camaldolese remain: the large cloister of the ' 500 , the nave and the choir , the guest quarters , part of the library . From the period when it was owned by the Carminati family remain the beautiful villa ( canonical ) whose floor is decorated with frescoes and carvings . A part of the old monastery is dedicated to the Museum of ancient country life.
Photo: Provincia di Padova and Comune di Carceri.