The Abbey of San Mercuriale is the most celebrated monument in Forlì. A symbol of the city, the religious building was built in the place of an older site (maybe dating back to the 5th century) and nowadays comprises a three-nave church in the Romanic style (12th century), an imposing Lombard bell tower (1178), and the 16th-century cloister which was completely restored in 1940. Previously, the Abbey included a monastery, a graveyard, and a “hospital” to host pilgrims. San Mercuriale looks out on Forlì’s main square, in the heart of the historic city centre, the same area that a thousand years ago was the “campo dell’abate” (the abbot’s field), beyond an arm of the Rabbi river which separated it from the city. Almost nothing of historic evidence remains of the original building of the 5th century. Most of the details we have about it refers to the tradition and the comparison with similar sites in the extraordinary sacred and architectural history of the Italian peninsula. The history of San Mercuriale is full of important and complex religious, political, social, and architectural events that have featured in the development of the city of Forlì for over 1500 years.