Architecture in norman times

Neighbouring regions

Molisian architecture, although it occasionally displays autonomous features as a result of the peculiar morphological characteristics of the territory, depended more or less directly upon external historical events and building traditions. The relations of interdependence affected the military, but most especially the religious, architecture. As regards the latter, these influences are more apparent because religious buildings have suffered minimal transformations, whereas military architecture, subject to cyclical adaptations to changing requirements and periodic reconstruction, is less easily recognisable. The most immediate associations were with areas that had direct historical relations with Molise : Daunia (a section of Lower Molise belonged to Capitanata until 1811), Abruzzo and Campania. The castles of Apulia include, in particular, Mount S. Angelo (the pentagonal tower of the Giants was erected by Robert Guiscard), Castelpagano (already flourishing under the Norman lordship of Count Henry) and the castles located south of the river Fortore, which were already important nerve centres of the Byzantine defence system, Dragonara and Fiorentino (built by the catepano Bojannes), Deliceto (built by the Norman Tristainus in 1073), Bovino (built by the Norman Drogone or by the Counts of Loritello on the ruins of a Roman fortification) and Serracapriola (the most ancient section dates back to the 9th century). The fortified convents of St. Mark la Catola, St. Mark in Lamis, Ripalta and Calena should also be mentioned.
The elements that associate Molise with Abruzzo are numerous: the Vasto and Ortona fortifications (cities with ancient ports) represent Aragonese transformations of older systems. The Romanesque churches on the coast of Apulia and the church of St. John in Venere at Fossacesia in Abruzzo are examples of sacred architecture.



Rocca Ianula