The abbey church was surrounded by several buildings, some of which were still visible on an 1822 map. Inside these buildings, there was a dormitory, a refectory, a kitchen, and a capitulary room where meetings were held. There used to be an adjoining cloister, built back to back with the church, on the square where trees are planted today. The cloister’s galleries fell apart in the late 17th century.
The only subsisting parts of the abbey are the two main buildings surrounding you. These two buildings were connected by a massive doorway. You can still see traces of this doorway, which is used to close the abbey’s eastern courtyard, today. There was a fountain in the middle of the courtyard, but it was moved to the nearby market square.
The south-west building dates back to the late 15th or early 16th century. It was probably the abbot’s home. Its beautiful moulded Renaissance door has a flamboyant Gothic style. Above the door is a coat of arms, proof of the abbey’s prosperity at the time.
There used to be a round tower at the end of the north-east building, called « prison tower ».
In 1822, the buildings were acquired by the town of Bénévent, who renovated them and turned them into a town hall, school and police station. The buildings were transformed many times and changed allocations. Nowadays, they are not only home to the town’s school but also to its library and to several associations.
The abbey buildings
This video will help you to imagine what Bénévent abbey used to look like, back when the buildings around the abbey church, which no longer exist, were still standing.