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THE CLOISTER

CLOISTER

The cloister dates to the 16th century, though it is possible that had older Romanesque or Gothic arches which have been replaced by the ones we see today. Six smooth columns stand on truncated cone bases, topped by circular flattened capitals which support the arches of the portico. Two of the capitals, those at the corners, have the coat of arms of a lion with a diagonal bend (a strap-like form) and the bishops’ mitre above.

The renovation of this part of the complex was commissioned by Marco Barbo, bishop of Treviso and commendatory abbot of Rosazzo from 1454 to 1490. In the lunettes on the walls of the portico, are frescoes of the coats of arms of the commendatory abbots who ruled the Abbey over the centuries. The oldest coats of arms were frescoed in 1768, and the most recent dates to 1928. Upon the death of Giuseppe Nogara, Archbishop of Udine and Marquis of Rosazzo (1955), the older ones were repainted. There is also a small sculpture in the portico depicting the bishop's coat of arms of the Giberti family, which dates to the first half of the 16th century.

The mullioned windows, brought to light thanks to restoration work following the 1976 earthquake, are of notable importance. Visible from the cloister, one is decorated by frescoes of Saints Scholastica and Catherine of Alexandria and is a clear reference to the Benedictine world. Their origin could therefore date back to the 12th-13th centuries.

The cloister leads to the Chapter House with multiple capitals bearing various carved coats of arms. In the centre, a single-block grey granite column holds up a four-sided capital with four different coats of arms dating to the 15th century, referring to the commendam of Marco Barbo. On the left wall is a bas-relief of Venetian workmanship depicting a cross, which most probably also dates back to the Barbo commendam. Above it is another coat of arms, depicting a rose in the centre with two keys on either side, which is used today as the logo of the Abbey of Rosazzo Foundation.

From the same period and in the same style, we can see: a corbel with a female head that seems to be wrapped in bandages that continue at the sides; a polygonal corbel (set against the wall and supporting a rib) in the shape of a deer with branched antlers and rolled in on itself; and, finally, a polygonal bracket with a coat of arms depicting a lion on its hind legs crossed by a bend, the coat of arms of the Venetian Barbo family.