Grottaminarda rises 405 meters high on the ancient road that connects the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic coasts, on the highway Napoli-Bari. Numerous archaeological discoveries have been found in the territory and they testify the presence of human groups since prehistoric times. The birth of Grottaminarda dates back to the late eighth century, the period of the Longbards of Benevento who occupied this land and founded a country to which they gave the name "Cripta", from which later derived the name of the country “Grotta". But it was during the Norman period that “Grotta” experienced its greatest splendour in its developmental phase of “Borgo" with a castle, probably built on the ruins of a Roman fortress on top of huts surrounded by Fratta, which took place in community life. In 1211, D'Aquino became the feudal lords and the name of Grotta was added to "Minarda". The name of Grottaminarda was chosen because state officials of Frederick II, for fiscal and military reasons, had to separate this country from others in that period that had the same name “Cripta”.
ON THE 28th of JANUARY AND ON THE 13rd of FEBRUARY 2010 WHEN
ON THE WAY TO THE CASTLE … St. T H O M A S C H U R C H
<ul><li>St. MICHAEL CHURCH </li></ul>THE FRONT VIEW
St. Michael’s Church It is the oldest among Grottaminarda churches and has only one nave. The church has been rebuilt many times because of a large number of earthquakes. Its history is written on the portal. The base of the bell tower was built by the Longbards (8 th century), who used stones of the Roman Age. This church was a prayer place for the Longbard pilgrims on their way from Benevento to Saint Michael Cave on the Gargano.
It is of Norman origin and is a high benchmark for the whole Community. The inhabitants of Grottaminarda have rebuilt this church after several earthquakes: 1456, 1732, 1930 and 1980. Inside the church you can see the “Rosary – piece” and the “Frescos” of the painter Vigilante. The outlying bell tower, in stone blocks planned by Vanvitelli about in 1765, is very imposing and it includes also the old bell tower of the 14 th century. St. MARY’S CHURCH
D’AQUINO CASTLE It was built by the Longbards within the boundary walls from the “Fratta” to “Portaurea”. Made of fluvial stones in a trapezoidal shape with a terraced area, rooms below and cylindrical towers, it was erected for the defence of the in habitants. Nowadays the castle is open to the public and is the seat of two museums: the archeological and the modern museum.
Dominating the old town of "Fratta" is the “Aquino’s Castle”. The original structure dates back to early medieval fortress and had to be extended around the first half of the twelfth century, when in defense of the medieval city, other walls were installed. Damaged by several earthquakes, the manor, almost trapezoidal in plan, has been repeatedly rebuilt and adapted for residential use by the lords who have owned. Following the earthquake of 1694 and that of 1732, the fort is converted into a stately old structures and making use of the defense complex in a residential area was built in the south limited to the first floor, while the ark is placed at the back postroof garden, fenced and a terrace with views over the Palombara valley. An area, that is very attractive for its landscape, its architecture and its botanical heritage.
A cylindrical tower on a cliff, about 14 meters high with a diameter of 12 meters, and a square tower can be seen at the corners of the side of the fort that overlooks the west and the deep valley below, which even today, with its lush vegetation, is a real "green lung" for the entire town. Other two cylindrical towers almost the same size are visible on the facade overlooking the medieval village respectively the "Fratta" and the urban space entirely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1980 around the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore.
. Built in 1443 and raised in 1774 it is considered a national monument. At the entrance there are two 18th century Arches and upstairs there is a veranda with a roofing supported by two columns of Roman Age. The Customs house is one of the rare examples of post stage still existing on the way to Apulia. The Aragonese Customs house
Carpignano <ul><li>Carpignano is a suburb of Grottaminarda, situated on a hill. It is a very important religious place, where you can visit the Sanctuary of the black Madonna. </li></ul>
Come raggiungere Aquilonia A16 Napoli A16 Bari A14 Bologna/Milano
Aquilonia, an ancient place full of history...to find out
Some suggestive landscapes of in Irpinia, where Aquilonia is located .
Aquilonia’s territory. In the background, the Vulture , a very ancient extinct volcano inside which the two beautiful lakes of Monticchio were born . Panoramic view of Vulture
HISTORICAL OUTLINE - Aquilonia is a small village in the province of Avellino, of Osca origin. It was an important centre of Sannio and it was fiercely opposed to the Roman conquest until 293 B.C. Such a heroic resistance is remembered in the coat-of-arms which shows “two warriors around a brazier of alight coals, while swearing” and the writing “ Aut vinci aut mori ”. - Later on, in the Longbard time, the village was rebuilt on a hill of Osento’s valley and it was named Carbonara . - In the XIX century, after the Borboni’s bloody reaction of the citizens against the nobles in 1860, it was imposed to change its name in Aquilonia. - On 23° July 1930 a violent earthquake destroyed Aquilonia and caused about 300 victims so the centre was rebuilt where it arises now. OLD AQUILONIA THE ARCHEOLOGIC PARK
Aquilonia after the earthquake of 1930 Today the ruins of Carbonara ar mostly kept in a suggestive archeologic park. A votive cross of 1700
The Archeologic Park Our memory in the recovered stones
The new Church of “Santa Maria Maggiore". Two of the 8 bronze panels which represent the Beatitudes on the front door of the church. The main facade of the church . On the west side of the church facade, in a Gothic arc, there is the Trinity, protecting the four churches of Aquilonia.
The interior of “Santa Maria Maggiore ” In the apse there is a big wooden crucifix of valuable work-manship . On the side door of the left aisle, you can see a Piety.
The ethnographic Museum of Aquilonia was created in 2000. It is a significant historic and cultural resource that his founder, Beniamino Tartaglia,wanted strongly. Its exhibition structure is developped on two levels and it was realised thanks to the inhabitants’ cooperation of Aquilonia who gave all the founds exhibited as a gift.
The criterion of the exhibition has been that of the thematic place , related to unusual jobs: about 13000 objects, arranged on a surface of 1500 sm, included in 130 spaces, prepared to show the traditional activities in Irpinia.