The Monastery of the Benedictine Congregation of Monte Cassino in Farfa is named after the river Farfa and was founded in the sixth century by San Lorenzo Siro, who arrived in Italy from Syria. The first abbey was built on the site of a pagan temple dedicated to the goddess Vacuna, and was soon destroyed by the Lombards in the late sixth century. According to legend it was rebuilt in 705 by Tommaso di Moriana from Jerusalem. From that moment began the structural development of the abbey that was enlarged with new people becoming richer with new olive groves and the reclamation of the surrounding lands. It was one of the most important and popular monastic centres in Europe. Among its directors was the Abbot Sicard, a relative of Charlemagne, who gave the abbey the greatest building development. The abbey still preserves important and unique examples of Carolingian architecture in Italy.