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Musei di Prato e Provincia

Museum of the abbey


The Museum of the Vaiano Abbey was opened in 1993 as a continuation of the exhibition of mediaeval archaeology, organized the previous year within the Laurentian Itineraries. On 29 May 1999, the Museum was reopened and completely renovated after thorough restoration works. The Museum will soon be completed by an important archaeological section, housing the finds recovered during the excavations carried out on the occasion of the restoration works of the architectural structure that are still in progress.

The organization of the Museum is such that visitors learn about and clearly understand the course of the monks' life in the Abbey and the religious, social and economic function of the Abbey within the territory. In fact, the leading subjects coming out of the exhibition path are the following: the choir and the choral prayer of the monks, the refectory and the monastic eating habits, the chapter-house and the economic structure of the landed and manufacturing properties, the abbot's apartment, the hospital and the care for wayfarers. This exhibition deeply evaluates the important aspect concerning the feeling of popular religiousness in its various forms of expression related to the past. After the necessary restoration works, a sixth room is being planned in order to house ornaments from other churches of the valley whose works, preserved within the centuries, are being constantly stolen.


The itinerary of the museum is divided into some subject rooms:

1) The time for work: the ancient refectory houses some archaeological finds that give evidence of the eating habits and everyday life of the monks of Vaiano. The new finds recovered during the recent survey will be on display shortly.

2) The time for prayer: the sacred ornaments are on display in showcases and over a schematic altar, giving evidence of the ceremonies of monastic rites, linked mainly to the choral officiating and the High Mass.

3) The Society and the Congregations: through the objects that belonged to the Society of the Holy Sacrament of Vaiano, one reconstructs the functions and tasks of these ancient forms of associationism, in which the feeling of religiousness of the believers living in the village near the Abbey was organized.

4) The popular religiousness: this room is dedicated mostly to the theme of the procession that thoroughly expressed the feeling of religiousness of believers. This room shows the ornaments that in the Baroque period constituted the solemn body of these celebrations (e.g. the great and golden processional machine). From here, one has access to the abbot's chapel, where the ritual of the private Mass of the Superior of the monastic community is reconstructed, and to the writing desk showing some original editions of the works of Agnolo Firenzuola, who was the abbot of Vaiano for several years.

The visit to the monastic areas of the architectonic structure is part and parcel of the Museum path that, after a period of dereliction and utter decay, is now back to its original aspect.
A bishop's appointee runs the restoration works - sponsored by public and private bodies, such as the Province of Prato and the Municipality of Vaiano. The Abbey of St. Salvatore, possibly funded between the Ninth and Tenth centuries on the remains of a previous settlement, shows interesting structures of the Middle Ages (e.g. the Romanesque church and the bell tower of the Thirteenth century), of the Renaissance (e.g. the cloister, being the fruit of the Medici Maecenatism) and of the Baroque period. According to the agreements stipulated by the Municipality of Vaiano, the Diocese of Prato, the Parish of Vaiano and the Pro-Museum Association of the Vaiano Abbey, the management and opening to the public will be granted by the volunteers of the Pro-Museum Association of the Vaiano Abbey.
The Museum is provided with an educational laboratory within the C.D.S.E. (Centre of Historical and Ethnographical Documentation of Bisenzio Valley), operating according to an annual working plan, whose target is to continue the cultural promotion and co-operation with schools

Educational and cultural services

The educational and cultural services of the museum include the following activities:

1) Ordinary activities: the Museum supplies some cultural services on a permanent basis for children and adults, e.g. guided tours and educational aids according to the age and background of users.

2) Annual activities: a working plan allows to develop specific subjects linked to the history and religious traditions of the territory from a point of view which is not just local. This plan includes phases of close examination of these themes through exhibitions, conferences and publications.

Progetto della Badia di vaiano
Vaiano abbey project

Addresses and contacts

piazza Agnolo Firenzuola
, 1
- 59021
Phone: 0574 989461 0574 989022 328 6938733
Opening time Saturday 4.00 p.m.- 7.00 p.m.; Sunday and holidays: 10.00 a.m.-12.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m.-7.00 p.m.
<strong>Tickets:</strong>free entrance.
Caricamento Google Maps.......attendere

Data ultima revisione dei contenuti della pagina: venerd 13 maggio 2016

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