History Relais Chiostro di Pienza

Hotel in Pienza

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The Chiostro

The history of the Hotel is very related to the history of Pienza, in fact the ancient building has played an important role in the development of this famous and beautiful Tuscan city.


The Monastery of St. Francis

At the beginning of the 1300s, with the spreading of the Minor Order of the Franciscans, a convent of these monks also arrived in Pienza. The Monastery of St. Francis was certainly the most important religious and cultural institution in old Corsignano, at least until the radical transformation of the city, which occurred from 1459, by Pope Pius II (Enea Silvio Piccolomini), who was born here in 1405. On his first visit to Corsignano as Pope, Piccolomini celebrated a solemn mass at St. Francis, it evidently is the most important church of the hamlet.

The Sienese War

The only precise information that we have about the life of the Monastery, comes from the 1500s and are detailed by the caretaker-priest Domenico Gabrielli who tells about the violence with which the undisciplined soldiers treated the convent and the church during the Sienese War.   The poor brother tells that in 1555, the soldiers "wrecked the cantina and upturned the wine, rampaging, burning clothing as well as the timbers", and he also informs us that following this they "remained without utensils and furniture but recommenced bit by bit, with the diligence of the brothers and the compassion of their benefactors, to recover".

Provincial Congregation

In 1634, St Francis hosted the with solemnity, and it was an occasion for "preaching, Latin prayers, and beautiful music". A few years later, by a Papal Bull, the 'little convent' was suppressed, the Franciscans were forced to leave. But the population was not pleased and many of the people became enraged and were successful in returning the brothers to St. Francis in 1658. "There was a celebration throughout the city, with the sounds of the bells and fireworks everywhere".

The monks

Remained until 1788, the year in which the Bishop Giuseppe Pannilini, suppressed the convent making it an 'Ecclesiastical Academy' boarding school for the altar boys from the diocese of Pienza and Chiusi. As such the institution had a brief life being substituted by a Bishop's Seminary in 1792 (this remained until 1956)..."