Saint George

St. George’s Island is a natural island characterized by its candle trees, century-old cypresses, and water-sprinkled underground springs. The famous evergreen trees was symbol of death to the ancient Romans, whilst also representing the eternal life of Christians – a permanent sentinel in the monasteries of the Mediterranean.

The guards around the St. George cypresses protect the Benedictine Abbey. Catholic monks looking for solitude and peace, and to spread the power of the Pope chose the island in the X century.

Surprisingly, the small abbey gained influence so quickly that the Pope himself decided to supply the abbots to the island and the surrounding lands became his monastic parishes, working for the benefit of the Catholic Church. This decision was not popular amongst local residents who therefore killed the church attendant at the alter in 1535.

In the same year, the townspeople were excommunicated by the Pope from the church. It is thought that this may have been the inspiration for the painting – ‘Isle of the Death’.