Abbey of Santa Maria Nascente
The Monastero Morimondo, the name of which means “die to the world”, that is, “live in the resurrection”, was founded in 1134 in Coronate, a locality that still exists today about a kilometre from the abbey, by monks who arrived from the Cistercian monastery Morimond in France. In 1136 they moved to the locality “Campo Falcherio”, where the monstery is today. In a short time the monastery assumed great importance and received numerous vocations from all walks of life; before the church was even built, the Morimondo monks founded another two congregations: in 1153 Acquafredda (Como) and in 1169 Casalvolone (Novara). One indication of the abundance of vocations is the thriving scriptorium. The abbey of Morimondo, initially built from wood, is now a grandiose elegant structure made of clay bricks produced in the kilns which the monks themselves built for the construction of the monastery. In an area where there were no stone quarries there was no alternative but to use clay. It was plentiful, easy to work, and in keeping with the vows of poverty of the Order. The monastery was built in the typical Cistercian style, with neat geometric lines which are particularly evident in the rectangular shape of the apse, the distribution of nave and aisles, the Latin cross floorplan and the presence of two chapels per arm in the transept.