Monte Cassino is a rocky hill 520m (1,706.04 ft) altitude, about 130 kilometres south of Rome. St. Benedict of Nursia established his first monastery here around 529. Unfortunately its prominent site has always made it an object of strategic importance. It was sacked or destroyed a number of times: by Lombards, Saracens, Napoleon's troops and Americans.
During the Battle of Monte Cassino (January - May 1944) the Abbey made up one section of the 161 Kilometer (100 miles) Gustav line, which was a defensive German line designed to hold the Allied attackers from advancing any further into Italy during World War Two. It stretched from coast to coast and the monastery was one of the key strongholds blocking the path to Rome.
On February 15, 1944 the abbey was almost completely destroyed in a series of heavy American led air-raids. 75.000 people got killed. The Abbey was rebuilt after the war.
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by Karen Cifaloglio
Just returned from our trip to Italy. We wanted to commend you on your service. Our day with Pasquale in Alta Villa and Pompei was perfect. We found the Saint we were looking for, Pasquale was our "Sherlock Holmes", and we loved the rest of our tour as well. We wanted to let you know how pleased we ... read more »
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