S. Maria di Caramagna
Community ID
Corporate Status
Date Founded
1028 (May 28)
Date Terminated
1460, under Felix V
Religious Order
Foundation Information

Founded by Olderico Manfredi, marquis of Susa and his wife Berta, parents of Countess Adelaide.

Notable Heads

First abbess was named Richilda. The last "good" abbess was Alasia di Lusarna (c. 1246). Other abbesses: Elisabed (1072); Imilia (1074).

Population Counts

1244: 8 nuns, 3 conversi

Priveleges & Papal Exemptions

ON Jan. 4, 1156, Hadrian IV requests the protection of Calixtus II for the house; in 1218, Honorius takes the house and all its posessions under his protection.

Incorporated Communities

S. Michele della Chiusa, in 1207, per Innocent III

Dependent Communities

Monastery of S. Giorgio in Villar di Camagnol, Priory of S. Vito, Monastery of Pradarolio (in Carmaniola); Priory of S. Ilario of Revello (from 1028-1224); Priory of S. Niccolo (in Saluzzo) (masc.); S. Maria and S. Martini confessori Christi (masc)

Social Characteristics

Very high nobility

Relative Wealth

Very Wealthy


Endowed by its founders with property in Caramagna and several courts, churches and other monasteries (see "dependent communities," above), the latter of which brought their own lands, mills and fisheries into the coffers of S. Maria.


Abbesses acted as segneurial lords. Problems with the serfs began to surface around 1156, and by the 13th c., the serfs were giving annual cash payments, rather than labor and percentages of produce.

Early Documents

[1] May 28, 1028: donation of a castle with serfs, houses and lands. [2] May 20, 1170: Abbess Beatrice concedes some goods to the abbey of Casanega. [3] Feb. 7, 1173: divides lower juridicial rights with Carow [???--cut off]

Manuscript Sources

Torino, Archivio di Stato, Sala 13, Materie Ecclesiastiche Monache, Abbazia di Caramagna, S. Maria, 5 fasc, 1028, 1074-1828.

Published Primary Sources

Patrucco. __Le piu antiche carte dell'abbazia di Carabagna (1028-1300).__ Series: Biblioteca della Societa storica subalpina, Bol. 15, pp. 55-130. Pinerolo: 1902.

Miscellaneous Information

Beginning with abbess Richilda, the abbacy generally passed down through the family, with any daugther or grandaughter (from either side) being eligible to succeed the current abbess. If no member of the family wished to be nominated, the community could elect its next leader.

Suzanne Wemple-Kinder; Marie Kelleher
Date Started
Date Finished