Did you know that the legend of the sword in the stone is born in Tuscany?
According to legend, Galgano Guidotti, born in the nearest town of Chiusdino, led a dissolute life dedicated to pleasure and entertainment until he converted to Christianity. To symbolize his abandonment of his life as a knight, Galgano plunged his sword into a stone.
Here, where he lived to retire as a hermit, a wonderful place was bulit: San Galgano Abbey. It is the first gothic church built in Tuscany, between 1218 and 1288 by the Cistercian monks as a sign of the popularity of Saint Galgano cult.
Unfortunately the nearby lands were devastated by mercenary bands and, at the end of the 15th century, the monks moved to Siena. In 1787, a lightning struck the bell tower, which collapsed onto the roof and after a few years the church was deconsecrated.
Presently, the roofless walls of the gothic style 13th-century Abbey church still stand. Nearby are the chapel or Eremo or Rotonda di Montesiepi (1185), the tomb of Saint Galgano and the purported site of his death in 1181, the sword said to have been planted in the ground by Galgano and a chapel with frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
You can find this wonder in the valley of the river Merse between the towns of Chiusdino and Monticiano, in the province of Siena. It’s great for weddings…