IRSINA

Irsina is a centre of the Bradano Valley, known by the name of Montepeloso until 1895.

History

Its territory was inhabited by the Enotri and Lucani populations, as testified by funerary finds dating back to the IV and III centuries BC. It prospered during both the Greek and Roman eras, but very little is known from these ancient times.

During the High Medieval period, it belonged to the Longobards from the Benevento Principality, and beginning from the IX century, it suffered Saracen raids, which led to Irtium being besieged and destroyed by them in 985.
It was reconstructed three years later by the Longobard Prince Giovanni II of Salerno due to its importance in the territory of defence of the Byzantines. Irsina was stage of the clash between the Normans and Byzantines (1042), with the outcome in favour of the first mentioned.

The first noble of Montepeloso was Torstaino Scitello, followed by Goffredo, Count of Conversano (1068-1104) and Boemondo d’Altavilla.
The City became an Episcopal seat in 1123, under the wishes of Pope Callisto II.

In 1132, Montepeloso adhered to the conspiracy of the barons against King Ruggiero II, and was occupied by the rebel Count Tancredi of Conversano. The following year, the King’s troops destroyed the City and slaughtered its inhabitants.

It was reconstructed by the Swabians who strengthened the walls and erected the Castle.

The Angioiniansans assigned the fief to Pietro of Belmonte, Count of Montescaglioso, and then to Giovanni of Monteforte, Count of Squillace. During 1308, it passed to the Del Balzo family, under whose government the City prospered until the XV century, when the Aragonese rose to power.
All in all, the new nobility didn’t bring fortune to the village and Don Luigi Gaetani sold the city to the Grimaldi family from Genoa for the sum of 122.000 ducats during 1585.

In 1644 Montepeloso became a Royal (Directional) seat, then 20 years later was acquired for 70.000 ducats by the Riario-Sforza families, who ruled it until the abolition of feudal rights (1806).

During 1799 Montepeloso adhered to the Republic of Naples and planted a Freedom Tree in San Salvatore square.

After unification into the Reign of Italy (1861), it experienced the insult of the brigandage phenomenon.

A visit to the City

One enters Irsina through Porta Maggiore and almost immediately finds oneself outside the Romanesque Cathedral dating back to the XIII century. This cathedral preserves the only known unique statue of Mantegna.

There are other churches of noteworthy interest: the Purgatory Church, S. Andrea (1566) and the San Francesco Church and Convent containing a crypt with frescoes in its interior.

A visit to the Ianora Museum, should not be forgotten. Here one can admire the collection of Daunii and Enotri vases, Magno-Greek, Roman and Medieval coins which it preserves.

Outside the village one can visit Monte Irsi where the S. Maria Church is located, which already existed during the X century, as well as the ruins of the Benedictine Abbey and a Castle.

Place of interest

The S. Maria Assunta Cathedral (XIII century); S. Francesco of Assisi Church and Convent; S. Agostino Church; SS. Immacolata Church; SS. Addolorata Church; Madonna del Carmine or Purgatorio Church; SS. Annunziata Church; Madonna della Pietà Church; S. Nicola de’ Morgitis Church; SS. Salvatore or S. Lucia Church; S. Andrea Church; S. Rocco Church; Calvario Church; Episcopio (Episcope); Palazzo Ducale Nugent; Walls and Gateways; Clock Tower, Fountains; Excursions to Monte Irsi; S. Maria d’Irsi.

IRSINA
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Basilicata region of Italy

 

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