St.Benedict church

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St.Benedict church is placed in the homonym street in Salerno (Via San Benedetto) and it was part of the Benedectine Monastery. It was physically connected to the medieval aqueduct, popularly called The Devils' Bridge, which, according to the popular legend, was built by the alchemist Pietro Barliario. Since the Benedictines were interested in science and medicine, many historians associate them to the origin of Schola Medica Salernitana1; in fact, Benedictines sent to Salerno their pupils in order to study medicine.2 One of the main representatives of Schola medica salernitana was Costantino l'Africano, a Benedictine monk interested in medicine.3


The structure of the building is based on the roman model and it is divided into three different naves, separated by two rows of columns and pillars. The frontage is made up of a pronaos with three arches and, on the left, it is possible to see the remains of the ancient steeple. The entrance was originally preceded by a "quadriportico", which was destroyed to make St. Benedict's street.4


When the church was closed after the Napoleonic suppressions, in 1845 it was rebaptized "Santissimo Crocifisso", in order to remember the Crucifix representing Jesus, that reclined his head because of repentance of Pietro Barliario.5 The church is only open on Sundays and on the occasion of the main festivities.

  • Main text and photos by Laura De Rosa ti.orebil|79asored.arual#| and Claudia Tagarelli moc.liamg|89illeragataidualc#| (November 2017)


  • Luca Borghi, Umori, il fattore umano nella storia delle discipline biomediche, Società Editrice Universo, Roma 2012
  • Salvatore De Renzi, Storia documentata della Scuola Medica Salernitana, Edizioni Ripostes, Napoli 2000
  • Maria Pasca, La scuola medica salernitana, Cassa del risparmio salernitana, Napoli 1987
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