Abbazia di Sesto al Reghena
The Abbey of Santa Maria in Sylvis, probably erected over a Roman statio, is probably the best known example of fortified monastery in Friuli. Founded in 730-735, it was first mentioned in Lombard document dated 3 May 762: “unum [monasterium] in locum desertum qui vocatur Sexto” (a monastery in a deserted location known as Sesto). The importance of the Abbey grew over the years through donations and privileges, and in 830 the abbots were granted jurisdictional power by Emperor Lothair I, a power which was later confirmed by Ludwig II (865) and Berengarius I (888). In 889 the Abbey was sacked and destroyed by the Hungarians, but between the 10th and the 13th century it was reconstructed and reinforced, taking up the appearance we admire to this day. The Abbey played a prominent role both religiously and politically, starting to lose importance after the Venetian conquest of Friuli in 1420. The Abbey contains some remarkable works of art, particularly some celebrated al fresco paintings.