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06 January 2008

Castles of Campania

second part of this post is Castles (2)


If you don't know, Campania is a Region of Italy. Nord of Sud :))) Were you want to put your feet here, you find meters and meters of history under you. Prehistorical settlements, all sorts of travellers and occupants,medieval towns ... and unbelievable quantity of castles and churches.

You are surprised when you see them every step praticaly. Castles you see in this post I photographed on my way from Camerelle (Nocera Superiore) to Caserta -about 50 km. And this is what you see from the motorway. There are many others in the inner land.One man in Castel San Giorgio said me, he had photos of 12 castles situating near his town. I could not find the precise number of how much castels are there in province of Salerno or Neaples, but there are 25 only in Matese (nothern part of province of Caserta).


This castle is not far from my house.It's owners wanted to create a dancing place there, but had not success with this idea. Many owners try to do something to maintain their property. It costs too much to be owner of a castle. So you can find castles-museums, -hotels, -restaurants and others in Italy.


Castle of Lanzara is probably one of the 15 build here by Arechi I. He needed them mostly for supervision of conquered territory.



Sarno. Castle of Arechi II. You can see the difensive plan very clear here.




San Felice a Castello. Other Longobard castle. What is interesting: people finished to build castles because they were not efficient to protect them from cannons and firearms. But they were in use by germans and americans during the second world war (this castle too).



I asked the director of Archeological Group, why italians need sooo many churches and he said me: you go out in the morning in church for remission of sinns. But in the street is it unpossible not to sinn. So you enter immediately in an other church and remiss what you did. And so all day long.


The truth is probably this: forces that controlled the region changed very frequently during all italian history. Thenew governments had to be tollerant to previous uses of the population. And the second reason is every rich men wanted to buy good place in the paradise( this you find written on the door of the Dome of Salerno,for example). That is why they built their own churches or monasteries.


Medieval castles were born from the death of Roman Empire. There were not more central institutions to protect people, and the country was full of bandits and military troups,that were not very different from bandits.


And then it was a period of "famine, war terror, flood, plague and hunger", says one document in archive of Castel S.G.


So the first castles were wooden towers posted to protect a farm or to control important ways. The good known italian mafia was born from the necessity to protect the farms too.


Sometimes there was not only a tower, called mastio or maschio. This castle could have a yard and a wooden wall. The head of this group of men became a great person because all paesants called him to protect them. The castle became a residence for the head and his family, members of the group and their families. In this period the tower contains the room for banquet and privat rooms of the leader's family. At the end of the XII century began to expand castles of stones. This is what you find in the books about history, but castles on the photos are from the times of Arechi I ( VII century) and Arechi II ( VIII c). People prefere to build their houses of stones that were more accessible then wood even in that period. I think.


During the Middle Ages all towns, rural districts, ownres built their own castles.So I found an interesting word that characterizes that period "incastellamento". Close in the castles.


In the second part of the Middle Ages castles become what we are inured to see in films. Inside them live not only the owner's family and the families of the troup, but everybody can be useful for them. Entire towns praticaly. In our zone castles are in inacessible places and owners have palaces in the towns and the fortresses on the rock.


From 1500 cannons and firearms make castles not efficient protection and their building usless.




second part of this post is Castles (2)

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