Fortifications and castles


Castle-enceinte of Pesche  

Castle-enceinte of Pesche

Castrum Pescharum, Pesclis, Pescla, are names given to the burgh that rises on the slopes of Mount San Bernardo. These appellations originate from the Latin word pesclum, indicating a place abounding with good construction stone. Built to control the Pescasseroli-Candela sheep-track, Pesche, according to the Catalogus Baronum, belonged to William. Until the 15th century it was the property of the Abbey of Montecassino.
The village is well preserved and protected by an enclosing wall. Its tall stone buildings, which date back to the last century, rise to a height of up to five storeys on a steep slope, commanding a picturesque view of the surrounding countryside.
The castle of Pesche follows the rule according to which the built-up area represents the first obstacle that a besieger must surmount. An enceinte, interrupted by cylindrical curtain towers (corner towers and smaller midway ones), climbs the steep mountainside and encloses the burgh, which served as a barrier that made it impossible to transport war machines. A series of installations provided an effective defence from attack from the upper slopes of the mountain: a redoubt with the characteristics of a small donjon, raised on an escarped base, a good flanking system featuring a large number of loopholes and defence apparatuses for dropping missiles. Traces of wooden structures (floors and reinforcing bars) are still visible at some points in the curtain walls, which were built using mixed local stone of varying dimensions laid with great precision.

Pesche is a significant example of a castle-enceinte with a defence redoubt that reminds one of the Abruzzo models (S.Pio delle Camere, for example) more than of those in the other Molisian settlements.