Abbazia di San Giovanni in Fiore (Florense)
The Florense Abbey is among the largest and most important religious buildings in Calabria. Founded by Joachim from Fiore and dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, the Abbey was built between 1189 and 1198 in the "Iure Vetere" area. The remains of this first structure, destroyed by fire, have emerged in the archaeological excavation of 2001. In 1215 the Abbey was rebuilt at the bottom of the valley of the river Neto, near the confluence with the river Arvo, in "New Flower". The impressive architecture, which over the centuries has undergone many changes, is in Romanesque style: a square-shaped complex with a central large cloister with pointed arches; plant of the monastery with Latin cross, with a rectangular apse facing east. The latest style before the restoration of 1989 is the Baroque style. Only remains of the original is the entrance portal, limestone finely worked; the facade is simple, "hut" without decorations. There are not impressive decorations, except the door. Worked is, however, the hole above the door that has an inner ring and an outer most protruding carved stone. The apse is the most valuable feature: inspired by the late French Romanesque, has a circular window at the center of a triangle whose vertices are three other small circular windows. The bell tower has the form of regular, rectangular and worked with the top four arches. The interior is now in Romanesque stone naked, devoid of any decorative form. The lateral nave houses the permanent exhibition "Liber Figurarum", the artistic works of Joachim from Fiore, which enclose the Joachim thought and imagination. The Baroque altar (1740) is a work of the master of wooden art, Giovanbattista Altomare, from Rogliano.