Friday 6 October 2023

Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power (568-774 A.D.)

This site is a group of seven sites, each one formed by several monuments... a mess! :D
I visited some years ago the monumental area with the monastic complex of San Salvatore-Santa Giulia in Brescia and I was amazed, specially with the frescoes!

The Longobards in Italy, Places of Power, 568 - 774 A.D. comprises seven groups of important buildings (including fortresses, churches, and monasteries) throughout the Italian Peninsula. They testify to the high achievement of the Lombards, who migrated from northern Europe and developed their own specific culture in Italy where they ruled over vast territories in the 6th to 8th centuries. The Lombards synthesis of architectural styles marked the transition from Antiquity to the European Middle Ages, drawing on the heritage of Ancient Rome, Christian spirituality, Byzantine influence and Germanic northern Europe. - in

The Santa Sofia complex, Benevento

Santa Sofia Church
This postcard was sent by Eduardo, who went to a wedding in this church.

Santa Sofia is a church in Benevento, southern Italy, one of the main surviving examples of Lombard architecture.
The church was founded by the Lombard Arechis II of Benevento around 760, as testified by numerous privileges signed by him, some of which are in the Museum of Samnium near the church. The edifice was modeled on the Palatine Chapel of the Lombard king Liutprand in Pavia and, after the defeat of Desiderius by Charlemagne and the fall of the Lombard kingdom in northern Italy (774), it became the national church of the Lombards who had taken shelter in the Duchy of Benevento. - in: wikipedia

The Gastaldaga area and the Episcopal complex, province of Udine

Tempietto Longobardo of Cividali del Friuli

This postcard was sent by Cristina and it was damaged by the Italian post service, so she, very kindly, sent me another one in perfect condition inside an envelope!

Tempietto Longobardo of Cividale del Friuli

The so-called “Tempietto Longobardo”, Oratory of Santa Maria in Valle, is one of the most complex and original buildings of Longobard architecture. It’s composed by a single chamber, square-plan, covered in a spacious cross-vault, which terminates in a lower presbytery, divided by pairs of columns in three parts covered in barrel vaults. - in:

The monumental area with the monastic complex of San Salvatore-Santa Giulia, Brescia

Monastic Complex  of San Salvatore-Santa Giulia

It is an outstanding architectural palimpsest, today transformed into the Museo di Santa Giulia, which contains about 11,000 works of art and archaeological finds. During the period of Longobard domination, Princess Anselperga, daughter of King Desiderius, headed the monastery.
The monastery is traditionally considered the place where Desiderata, wife of Charlemagne and daughter of the Lombard King Desiderius, spent her exile after the annulment of her marriage in 771. -in: wikipedia

Basilica of San Salvatore

It has been built in 753 by Duke of Brescia Desiderius, future Lombard king, and his wife Ansa. It is characterized by the simultaneous use of the Longobards stylistic elements and decorative motifs of classical and Byzantine art and it is one of the most important examples of High Middle Ages architecture in Italy. The basilica has a nave with two apses and has a transept with three apses. It is located over a pre-existing church, which had a single nave and three apses. Expanded in the following centuries, it houses various works of art, including the Stories of St. Obizio painted by Romanino and Stories of the Virgin and the infancy of Christ by Paolo Caylina il Giovane, as well as others from the Carolingian age. - in: wikipedia

Domus dell'Ortaglia

In the former vegetable garden of this monastery have been discovered a group of Roman domus called Domus dell’Ortaglia that were used between the 1st and 4th centuries and they are some of the best preserved domus in northern Italy. - in: wikipedia

Cross of Desiderius

Desiderius’ Cross is a processional cross that used to be carried on a tall staff by hand or on carriages.  Considered its use, it was built in wood and covered with golden metal plates. Tradition recounts that it was a gift to San Salvatore and Santa Giulia monastery from the Longobard king Desiderius, who founded it between 753 and 760 together with his wife Ansa.
Among the examples of crux gemmata survived to the present day, this is the largest and it is covered with 211 gemstones set on the four arms. As unique case for this type of decoration, the goldsmiths here reused numerous ancient gems – about 50 – many of which came from other decorative pieces. - in:


It was the most important temple of the ancient Brixia, dedicated to the cult of the Capitoline Triad. It was built in 73 AD and consists of three cellae that have preserved much of the original polychrome marble floors,[18] while their interior walls are decorated by ancient Roman epigraphs placed here in the 19th century. In front of them, there are the remains of the portico, composed of Corinthian columns that support a pediment containing a dedication to the Emperor Vespasian. Almost entirely buried by a landslide of the Cidneo Hill, it was rediscovered in 1823 through various archaeological campaigns. - in: wikipedia

The Sanctuary of San Michele, province of Foggia

Sanctuary of San Michele
This postcard was sent by Pasquale

The Sanctuary of Saint Michael the Archangel (ItalianSantuario di San Michele Arcangelo) is a Roman Catholic shrine on Mount GarganoItaly, part of the commune of Monte Sant'Angelo, in the province of Foggia, northern Apulia. It has the dignity of a minor basilica.

It is the oldest shrine in Western Europe dedicated to the Archangel Michael and has been an important site of pilgrimage since the early Middle Ages. The historic site and its environs are protected by the Parco Nazionale del Gargano. in: wikipedia

The seven sites that form this group are: (in red what I already have)
  • The Gastaldaga area and the Episcopal complex, province of Udine
  • The monumental area with the monastic complex of San Salvatore-Santa Giulia, Brescia
  • The castrum with the Torba Tower and the church outside the walls, Santa Maria foris portas, province of Varese
  • The basilica of San Salvatore, province of Perugia
  • The Clitunno Tempietto, province of Perugia
  • The Santa Sofia complex, Benevento
  • The Sanctuary of San Michele, province of Foggia

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