San Galgano and King Arthur? – Part II

August 8, 2008 / Art & Archaeology
. . . continuing our story from last week . . .

Leaving the Abbey of San Galgano, your search continues naturally a bit further up the hill to the actual spot of Galgano’s hermitage and final resting place.

Now a beautiful round church with alternating bands of white limestone and red tufa, you remain stunned for an altogether different reason.

Legend has it that upon forsaking his dissolute ways in 1180 (10 years before the first written accounts of the Arthurian legend), Galgano miraculously thrust his sword permanently into the very stone in front of you!

The Cistercian monks who built the great gothic Abbey nearby are credited with the diffusion of the story of King Arthur throughout Europe. Also, tests run on the sword do confirm the date . . . and some Medieval scholars have shown that Cavalier Galgano is none other but Sir Galwyn/Gawain of the round table.

So . . Tuscany, origin of the Arthurian legend? Who knows . . it certainly is easy to let your imagination run in this most evocative of places though.

Evanne Brandon-Diner

by Evanne Brandon-Diner

Chronicler of local village life in Northern Lazio, and property restoration and purchasing consultant.

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