Ingresso: chiuse dal 2009 causa terremoto


In the part of the wall between the gates of  Pazziana and San Nicholas, the Masters of Como built terraced buildings of great and unusual size as a typical example of a home-fortress: the so-called houses of "Lombardi". In general this type of construction was common in the architecture of central and northern Italy of the period and consisted of individual fortified structures, inserted into the walls, which also accentuated the prestige of the family who owned them. While not responding to a specific defensive function, they however, allowed the inhabitants to hit any potential aggressors from above and being so tall didn’t occupy large areas of land.  In the mountainous areas, in fact, it was very important to keep free as much as much land as possible free for cultivation.  Today these buildings have unfortunately almost all been completely altered during subsequent periods; but are still visible up against the angular, defensive walls.

Historical Notes

These houses were built by the Masters of Como, hence the name "Lombardi", between 1480 and 1520, when the village was under the rule of the Belprato family. From the beginning of the 15th century the Lombard workers began arriving in Abruzzo to build both civic and religious buildings. There are also important examples of their work in Sulmona. Their presence was strengthened when, following the earthquake of 1456, there was demand for more manpower for the large amount of reconstruction. Stonemasons, artists and sculptors arrived and then brought with them their own assistants - from simple artisan masons to the more specialised worker - who, in contrast to their masters who later returned to the north, settled in the centres of Abruzzo where they had worked. They and their successors were responsible for the creation of a series of buildings that characterise this ancient village: the buildings of Largo di Porta Pazziana, many tower-buildings, the decorated portals and both single and double windows.