In the marvellous and unknown area of the Merse valley, there is a special and mystic site where is preserved the stone where the knight Galgano Guidotti from Chiusdino plunged his sword.

The Merse Valley protected Area condensed in a few miles three astonishing location connected with the story of the conversion of Galgano that later became Saint, this post is about the first one: the round Chapel of Montesiepi hill. Nexts will be about the Sangalgano Abbey and about the medioeval village of Chiusdino, that is the birthplace of Galgano.

At the top of Montesiepi hill, there is the chapel built where the saint lived in eremitic life from 1180 tho his dead in 1181, eleven month later, the same year of Saint Francis birth. It is the same place  where Archangel Saint Michael appaired to Galgano while the knight was riding to the near village where his betrothed Polissena lived. That day, the horse sharped his run and refused to continue the ride. The stone with impressed the mark of the hoofs of Galgano’s horse is conserved in Chiusdino. This apparition definitely convinced Galgano to change his life: he decided to live there forever as an eremite.

The mother and the betrothed of Galgano didn’t agree with the irremovable decision of the knight and asked his friends to convince him to come back to the prosperity life. A delegation of knights and friends went to Montesiepi and starting argument to convince Galgano to change his proposal. At a certain point Galgano drawed his powerful sword and with no doubt drived it in a stone that was between him and the delegation. No more figth for Galgano but peace, love and helps for the needy. Only the handle of the sword remained out of the stone and it became the simbol of the Cristian Cross.

 

In opposite of the Excalibur legend, where King Arthur extracted the sword to defense the People of Camelot, Galgano’s sword is a message of peace that everybody can see because the Tuscany “Sword in the Stone” is still there!

 

When Galgano died a round chapel was built where he lived his last months and where the sword is conserved. Information from the official site of Sangalgano

 

In the same place closed in a glass case there are two skeleton hands … but this is another episode of Galgano’s life that I will tell in another post. 

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