Italian version

Index      Index
English version by:
Jason (Iacovino) Pierce,
New Jersey.



The Samnites
The Romans
The Normans
Historical chronology
The Charter of Carlo II d’Angiò
The Census of 1532
The appraisal of Morrone of 1593
Historical Events
1614 visit of Monsigor Eustacchio
1734 visit of Monsignor Tria
Luigi Cinelli
Parochial Archive
Weights and Measures
Markets and Fairs
The Feast of San Giuseppe
The Territory
Migratory route for herds
Surnames and Nicknames
Vanished surnames
Experts and Masters from Morrone
Famous People
Santa Maria in Casalpiano
Franco Valente: Casalpiano
The Toponymy of Morrone

Rural Life
A stroll around Morrone
Panoramic photo
Old prayers
Morronese cookbook
Postcards from Morrone
The portals of house
Morronese crafts


Morrone seen from:
Poetri in morronese dialect


Old photo album
Current photo album
Photos from viewers of the site
Songs from Morrone
Earthquake from Morrone
My page

I Miaban
The Newspaper of Morrone



The Molise territory
Molise in the norman period
The road system
Pre-norman fortifications and settlements
Urban development: the church and the castle
Relations with the Church
Architecture in norman times
Fortifications and castles
Molise at the time of the crusades
Molise and the Adriatic
The fortifications today

The South and the Unification of Italy


Exchange link

Screen saver of Morrone



Apartment for rent

 I am looking for Morronese relativen in America


I Sanniti
I Romani
I Normanni
Cronologia storica
1303 Carlo II D'Angiò
I censimenti dal 1532
L'apprezzo del 1593
1614 Mons. Eustacchio
1734 Mons. Tria
Inchiesta Murattiana
Archivio parrocchiale
I costumi
Le tradizioni
I pesi e le misure
I mercati e le fiere
La festa di San Giuseppe
Il territorio
Il tratturo
I cognomi e i soprannomi
I cognomi scomparsi
I maestri
Le persone famose
S. Maria in Casalpiano

Cli scavi di Casalpiano
Franco Valente spiega Caslpiano
Franco Valente: Casalpiano
Franco Valente: Araldica
La chiesa Madre
I Feudatari di Morrone
Toponimo di Morrone
L'Italia Meridionale
Vita rurale.
Quattro passi per Morrone
Panoramiche grandangolo
Antiche preghiere
Ricettario morronese
Cartoline da Morrone
I portali e lavori in pietra
Vecchi oggetti morronesi
lettere d'oltreoceano


Morrone visto da:
La poesia dialettale


Raccolta foto antiche
Raccolta foto recenti
Canzoni morronesi
foto inviate da Voi
Il terremoto a Morrone
Altri siti Molisani
La mia pagina

I Miaban
Il Giornale di Morrone



Il territorio del Molise
L'epoca Normanna
Le vie di comunicazione
Fortificazioni e insediamenti prenormanni
Sviluppo urbano: la chiesa
e il castello
I rapporti con la Chiesa
L'architettura Normanna
Opere fortificate e castelli
Il Molise e le crociate
Il Molise e l'Adriatico
Le opere fortificate oggi






Pagina link

Screen saver di Morrone




Il comune informa
The town hall informs

Notizie da Morrone. A cura di: Mariassunta Faccone & Valentina Saltarelli

Webmaster & Admin Site:
Giuseppe Buonviaggio


Architecture in norman times

English version by Jason
Italian  version

Norman architecture

 Remains dating back to the Norman period can still be found in Molise, even though they often suffered alterations in subsequent periods. The location of buildings appears to be one of the main clues to the origin of fortifications. Distinctions based on the differences in the materials used in different periods or areas are not possible, since the most commonly used material was locally quarried stone. Construction and stonemasonry techniques depended on the level of evolution and wealth achieved by the urban settlements. Moreover, the numerous reconstructions and functional adaptations of fortified buildings, which were rendered necessary, to a certain extent, by the high seismicity of the region, complicate the investigation efforts even further.
The Normans, who in the Chronicon are described as great builders of castles, certainly found a land that was already characterised by fortified buildings dominating the burghs, with occasional isolated defensive elements. The Normans, over a period of a century and a half, seized power from the Longobards, creating a network of castles more suitable to their fighting requirements and new defensive strategies. The capillary Norman penetration led to the creation of a sufficiently homogenous network of military structures. The function of the castles gradually changed from the military-political one of the Longobard princedoms and Byzantine temi to the military-feudal one of Norman domination. The autonomous nature of the Longobard fortifications was rendered obsolete by Norman architecture, which satisfied more comprehensive defensive requirements and spread an increasingly tighter net on the territory.
The Normans did not confine their efforts to the simple re-adaptation of pre-existing Longobard strongholds. They build new structures, adopting models that, though initially imported, were gradually modified to suit the peculiar morphological conditions of the Molisian territory. Those which occupied the best positions eventually become the pole of attraction for others who, after a while, reunited, thus laying the foundations for the development of the second stage of feudalism.
The survival in inland and mountainous areas of land administration structures and processes which dated back to the Roman period, even after the decline of the latter, prevented the development of a system which allowed the castle to function as the effective administrative and institutional core. It is quite probable that the concepts of motte and donjon had to be modified in those Molisian areas that are prevalently mountainous (their presence is in any case substantiated by the survival of the toponyms), and adapted to environmental conditions different from those previously experienced by the Normans. On the other hand, in the flat areas of Apulia and Calabria the traditional models, similar to those in France, were followed more closely. During the early stages, fortifications that were originally made of wood (or mainly wood) were transformed into stone structures. Later, new buildings were constructed entirely of stone.

The castle building phenomenon in Molise was motivated by the political and administrative instability of the times, while the development of the feudal society was strongly affected by the presence of the abbey of St. Vincent. In the Volturno river valley the settlement phenomenon was preceded by a phase of centralisation, consequent on the reclamation of the “silva densissima” accomplished by the peasants organised by the monks. Under the pressures of the Longobard counts, of the Saracens and of the Normans themselves, the military defences were reorganised: burghs enclosed by walls were established, such as Forneli, Scapoli and Santa Maria Oliveto (“castrum costituit in montem” after 1066). The castella represented the concluding stage in the process of exploitation of the territory, and were the foundations for the subsequent expansion of the settled areas and for sustained building activities.






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