WIT Press

Study On The Stability Of The Abbey Of San Costanzo Al Monte (Cuneo, Italy)


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WIT Press


G. Pistone & A. Violante


In connection with the strengthening and restoration project for the functional rehabilitation of the Abbey of San Costanzo al Monte, near Cuneo, in Piedmont, Italy, the authors studied the static behaviour of the structure in order to evaluate its current state of stability and identify the actions needed to bring back the construction to within acceptable safety margins pursuant to the applicable national regulations. This is a highly valuable structure, unique in this area, whose construction is believed to date back to the eighth-ninth century and to have been commissioned by the Langobard sovereigns of the time. In the course of the early centuries of its existence (from the tenth to the fourteenth century), the abbey suffered from the onslaught of hostile peoples that plundered the area, it experienced brief periods of renascence, and finally relapsed into a state of disrepair, which continued uninterruptedly into the seventeenth and the eighteenth century, until, in 1800, the abbey was deconsecrated and fell into a state of utter degradation. Though it experienced a condition of neglect for such a long period of time, during which no maintenance works were performed, the structure of the abbey still retains all the original masonry parts, albeit many of them are in extremely poor conditions. Large portions of the roof have been missing for at least two centuries, and its absence accelerated the deterioration of the material of the building. The damaging process was also heightened by the geographic position of the abbey, in a mountain area where freezing cold winter weather surely had adverse effects on the materials. Moreover, it should be noted that in the latest seismic charts produced in Italy, the site on which the abbey rises is classified as medium seismic (Alpine zone). In spite of all these adverse circumstances, it is still possible to appreciate the remarkable set-up of the building, which enabled it to withstand a thousand year long process of disruption. Keywords: stability, structure, masonry.


stability, structure, masonry.