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And the winner of this months Owner’s photo competition once again goes to Jeff Hartvigsen from Winnetka, Illinois, USA 

Bravo Jeff, not simply because you discovered and highlighted one of Cortona’s hidden treasures, but your shot encapsulates the spirit of Le Celle: il posto dell’Anima. 

The Celle is believed to be the place where, in May 1226, four months before his death in Assisi, St Francis dictated his Will. Following his death, in October of the same year, Brother Elia withdrew permanently to the Le Celle hermitage in 1239 and carried out a number of improvements. The walls built under Brother Elia are rough but solid, and the hermitage contains eight small rooms large enough for a bed, a table and a chair – the essential furnishings prescribed by St Francis himself for a Franciscan hermitage, where the prime importance was to lead a life given over to contemplation. After Brother Elia’s death in Cortona in 1253, the Franciscan order fell into a complicated series of internal divisions.

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