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It was Ruggero I who chose Bagnara for its construction, declaring it initially subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Holy See.
It took 32 years to complete the work. It was consecrated on October 13, 1117.
The artifact, of Gothic-Norman style, was a single nave with beautiful mosaics and precious decorations. The abbey was subject, by Roger II in the meantime become king of Sicily, to the diocese of Cefalù. This decision obtained the ratification of Anacletus II the pope appointed after the schism of 1130 which was opposed to Innocent II, in turn appointed after the death of Pope Honorius, first and of Chancellor Aimerico, later. In the contraposition that followed the Normans supported Anacletus who had no difficulty in securing the obedience of Rome and, subsequently, that of central and southern Italy. Innocent II had to repair in France. The Pope as a sign of gratitude named Roger II the king of Sicily and he tried to repay by subjecting as many churches as possible to the new pope. In Bagnara, however, Prior Arduino opposed and the antagonist of Anacletus II, Innocent II declared both the subjugation by Roger II and the provision of recognition of Anacletus to be null. The subjugation of the abbey was a real battle that fought for centuries and closed only in 1818 as Pope Pius VII suppressed the abbey and assigned the church to the archbishop of Reggio Calabria in whose sphere today falls.