CASTELGRANDE

Along the road which leads from Muro Lucano to Pescopagano, is where one will find Castelgrande, once known as Castel Grandine, situated in a panoramic position on the southern slope of Monte Toppo.

History

Its name derives from the Latin Castrum Grandinis, being the name given during the period following the fall of the Roman Empire.

Monte Toppo, however, was inhabited since the Hellenistic period (V century BC) due to its defensive merits and its position which permitted easy observation of the surrounding territory.

Not much is known about the High Medieval period, but the place should have had logistical importance also during the Longobard Reign, if it was given in fief during the Norman period to the Counts of Balvano.

Under the Angioiniansans (1268), Castelgrande belonged to Pietro Annibaldo and therefore the Sanseverino Family. After this family it was was assigned to the following families: Durazzo, Giovanni Pipino, Carlo Ruffo of Montalto (1394), Carafa (1496), and the D’Anna Family who ruled it until the suspension of Feudal Rights (1806).

During the XVII century, its population led by Matteo Cristiano, participated in revolutionary motions against the Spanish government (1647) as well as during 1799 adhering to Republican ideals. But the Republic was overturned by Cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo of Bagnara with help from an English fleet.
The Bourbons once again ascended to the throne of Naples. It was only after the Renaissance experience that Castelgrande was able to become part of the Reign of Italy (1861).

A devastating earthquake (1980) destroyed part of the village, the Castle and Chiesa Madre (Mother Church).

A visit to the City

One can visit: the ruins of the Angioiniansan Castle in Castelgrande, which was almost destroyed by an earthquake during 1980; the remains of the town walls embellished by Porta San Giovanni (Portal) and the Assunta Mother Church which preserves precious 18th century wooden statues.

At one kilometre outside the habitation is where one will find the S. Maria of Constantinople Church, conserving works of art from the XVI century. There are also two archaeological areas in Castelgrande dating back to the Bronze Age and the Hellenistic period.

For lovers of nature, panoramic views and the stars, Monte Toppo is an ideal place: it offers the possibility of naturalistic walks through its woods, an enjoyable and unforgettable view over Puglia and Irpinia and to carry out astronomical observations in the National Observatory.

Place of interest

Ruins of the Angioiniansan Castle; Porta San Giovanni; Chiesa Madre dell’Assunta; Santa Maria of Constantinople Sanctuary (XIII century); Palazzo Cianci (XVII century); Monte Giano archaeological area; Cannolicchio Archaeological Area; Astronomical Observatory.

CASTELGRANDE
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Basilicata region of Italy

 

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