The fortifications today

The current state of preservation of fortifications

Fortification architecture in Molise represents a rich patrimony, not only of the region, which deserves greater preservation efforts. The condition of castles, towers and fortified residences varies greatly, ranging from buildings that enjoy an excellent state of preservation to artefacts that are reduced to a state of ruin and have been completely neglected. In some cases, the hard to reach location explains the general indifference and state of desolation from which these buildings suffer. In other cases, urban fortifications suffer from the same neglect, which is often accentuated by the frequent plundering of building materials that occurred until a few years ago. Among those urgently requiring restoration are the Riporse castle in Longano, the castle of Rionero del Sannio, the Roccapipirozzi castle, the castle of Rocchetta al Volturno, the castle-enceinte of Pesche, the castle of Lupara and the tower of Magliano. Some castles have undergone restoration work that, under the pretence of preservation, but actually for financial exploitation, has transformed the structures through the use of camouflage solutions and inadequate modern building materials.
Restoration work recently performed on some fortifications has led to a better historical and architectural awareness (Venafro, Monteroduni, Termoli, Campobasso, Gambatesa, Oratino, Roccamandolfi) and a more conscientious use of the artefacts.
If we believe that the remains of fortifications should be regarded as significant and unique “documents”, we cannot make their survival depend only on the possibility of a more or less immediate or more or less extensive re-utilisation. These remains should be treated exactly like archive documents whose safeguard is certainly not dependent on their re-utilisation potential.

The importance of preserving the remains of fortified structures as ruins (when the conditions do not allow for responsible reintegration and reversible completions) is connected with the need to ensure a better immediate and future understanding of these remains, that is to say, with the possibility of continuing the investigations in order to correct and update the provisional data. The remains, in these cases, can take on the role of fossil guide for the interpretation of phenomena that are not initially understood, and serve as areas of experimentation for efficacious preservative solutions and long-term testing.