Abbey of San Giusto - Pinone

S. Giusto
Abbazia di San Giusto - Carmignano - Via Montalbano (LocalitÓ Pinone)
 

The first documents about San Giusto date back to thirteenth century: anyway, almost all art historians agree on an earlier dating and thus, the edification of the church go backwards. According to popular tradition, usually accepted by scholars but not recognised by documents, San Giusto church has been a monastic seat or even an abbey. Some tax registers of the thirteenth and fourteenth century let us suppose that it was a rectory for a period. In 1373 it still had the title of priory, already restored once in 1200, it was again in bad conditions: the dean Tegghia di Tegghia reported the bishop not to have a safe place to keep the Holy Communion and the saint oils  and lists  a mere number of furniture and vestments as unique treasures of the church: a silver goblet, with decorations in glaze; a red silky vestment; an ancient cross with a brass crucifix; a surplice with stole and amice; 4 table-clothes. In the visit of 1535, it is cited as Sancto Iusto de Poggiolo; in 1582, the supervisor ordered it to be restored. For a certain period, the church was united to the monastery of Monte domini in Florece, remaining though “sub patrocinio et gubernio senissimi magni ducis”. Pastoral life of 1603 describes the floor in stone plates: the roof is in bad conditions again. In the oratory, a priest paid by the grand duke sometimes officiated mass  on the main altar, while the altar of the absidiole were indecent. For the rest of time, the church remained closed and vestments were stored in a connected house.
In 1725 San Giusto was in good conditions and it was the priest of Verghereto the one who officiated mass.
 
However, the building was abandoned throughout the century and in a little while it became a ruin, considering also the falling of the roof over the navy and of a part of the wall on the right. During the last year of the nineteenth century, a consolidation was brought about to the residual parts and the belfry was reduced and stopped up, for static questions. A big restoration was started immediately after the war, to permit a reopening of the church to the public: the roof was rebuilt  together with the external walls and some internal elements. Abandoned once more, it has recently been made safe by the authority in charge. The new restoration is well-refined and of a high quality. The block that have been used  are perfectly squared and quite big. A decoration with thin lines of relief makes some parts more vibrant. The conic roofing is an addition of the thirteenth or fourteenth century. The double layout of the single-lancet windows, which can be found in the crypt as well, is for giving light to the church. The crypt has three apses, the unique documented in the territory, and a narrow and high navy. In the corner with the side of the navy, we can find, in the transept, the access to the crypt, surmounted by a stone archivolt.
The current crypt is the result of perhaps a thirteenth-century intervention: the roofing have been made realising rustic and heavy groin vaults put on top of the original structure supported by quadrangular pillars and by a short column in the main apse. We can find some pilaster strips in what remains of the most ancient structure of the apses and on the original side walls: two on the sides of each single-lancet window, most of them with fluting.
The exterior of the church, built with the use of large blocks of sandstone, shows on the arches of the portal and mullioned window of the front inserts alternating white marble and serpentine. On the left side of the building, separated from it by a narrow corridor, there is the bell tower, perhaps dating back to 1200 and modified in the nineteenth century.

At the foot of Mount Pietramarina, the Romanesque church of San Giusto (408 metersabove the sea level), according to local tradition founded by Cistercian monks or Cluniac between the eleventh and twelfth centuries, was restored in the second half of the twelfth century.

The building has “commissa” cross plan characterized by a tall, narrow nave punctuated by half-pillars and arches, a transept with elevated crypt, accessible only from the outside, covered by cross vaults supported by low pillars, and three apses with conical roof, typically thirteenth century, and a double row of mullioned windows.

The exterior of the church, built with the use of large blocks of sandstone, shows on the arches of the portal and mullioned window of the front inserts an alternating white marble and serpentine. On the left side of the building, separated from it by a narrow corridor, there is the bell tower, perhaps dating back to 1200 and modified in the nineteenth century.

For more: C. Cerretelli, Prato e la sua provincia, Prato 2003, p. 359 sgg.

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