In 1274, on his way to a general council in Lyon, after having been invited by Pope Gregory X, St. Thomas Aquinas fell ill near the city of Terracina. He eventually accepted the hospitality of the Cistercian monks in the Abbey of Fossa Nuova (now Fossanova). On March 7, 1274, his strength failed and he died in the Abbey. The Cistercians were forced to leave the Abbey by Napoleon in 1810. The Abbey and church are now under the care of Franciscan Friars from Poland. The room in which St. Thomas died is now a small chapel.
The Cistercian Abbey church is a beautiful example of early Roman Gothic architecture. It was completed around the year 1208 and displays the simple but grand architectural style of the Cistercians of the middle ages. Pictures of the Abbey are below.