Salerno-Badia di San Pietro a corte ex Cappella palatina di Arechi II
San Pietro a Corte è un complesso monumentale di età longobarda ed è l’unico monumento di architettura civile longobardo in Europa. La chiesa di S. Pietro a Corte venne costruita in età longobarda, nell’VIII secolo d.C., ad opera del principe Arechi II, che trasferisce la capitale della Longobardia da Benevento a Salerno..A nord del palazzo di Arechi era ed è annessa la cappella appena restaurata, quella che si chiamerà nel Medioevo, e si chiama ancora oggi, San Pietro a Corte e che Arechi II la utilizzò come Cappella di Corte. Il complesso di S. Pietro a Corte, si trova nel largo San Pietro a Corte (vedi foto 1) situato nel centro storico di Salerno, si presenta come un caso di architettura stratificata. Il monumento si compone di tre distinti edifici: la chiesa superiore " Cappella di Arechi ", un vasto ambiente sotterraneo " Ipogeo " ed il campanile (vedi foto 20) in stile romanico, sorge sul lato nord della chiesa ( a quel tempo il piano stradale era di almeno -m. 6,50 più basso rispetto all'attuale piano stradale, probabilmente a causa di una alluvione). La chiesa si articola in una navata unica conclusa da un’abside semicircolare, realizzata in sostituzione dell’originaria abside rettangolare nel corso del restauro cinquecentesco. Quest’intervento, realizzato intorno al 1576, è realizzato per volontà dell’abate Decio Caracciolo e include anche la costruzione della attuale scala di accesso alla chiesa.
Situato in Largo Antica Corte, Angolo Via Canali, il Complesso Monumentale di San Pietro a Corte è la più importante testimonianza longobarda presente in Città. Esso faceva parte della fortificazione sul mare, lungo una strada che era in origine percorso navigabile dotato di catena per bloccare il transito di vascelli ostili, che Arechi II fece edificare. Una città di forma circa rettangolare, assai munita, con poche strade che calano dal monte e altre parallele alla costa. In questa fortificazione, sul mare, Arechi colloca la reggia con il castello in alto sul coll e le mura che partivano dal castello lungo il lato occidentale del colle Bonadies fino a raggiungere il mare, mentre le mura orientali scendevano probabilmente fin presso la piazza Flavio Gioa. Il palazzo si doveva articolare su due livelli e si estendeva sull'asse nord-sud. La parte meridionale forse , era munita di una torre, sulle mura che arrivavano alla spiaggia. Quindi aveva ad est una corte la più grande, comprendeva officine, caserme e scuderie; ad ovest un altra corte più piccola. L'unico ambiente superstite del palazzo è l'aula settentrionale, costruita sulle preesitenti terme romane. Le colonne del porticato sono sparse nel centro storico mentre le mura urbane sono distrutte o nascoste dagli edifici. All'inizio si credeva che questa struttura fosse la cappella palatina. Oggi si crede anche che potesse essere l'Aula di Rappresentanza, a causa della presenza di alcuni elementi del titulus dettato da Paolo Diacono, che cantava le lodi di Arechi. Si era giunti a dubitare della reale esistenza di tale titulus, finché non vennero rinvenuti i frammenti con ".. GE DUC CLEME ..", facenti parte dell'esametro "DUC AGE DUC CLEMENS ARICHI PIA SUSCIPE VOTA". Le singole lettere sono incise nel marmo ed erano rivestite di bronzo dorato e delimitate sopra e sotto da listelli, anche essi rivestiti di bronzo dorato . " L'Aula di Rappresentanza " è riportata nel " Chronicon Salernitanum " (che è una fonte importante per lo studio della storia dei principati della Langobardia dall'VIII al X secolo.) narra che, nel 787, Carlo Magno sconfisse Desiderio e conquistato il Regno longobardo del Nord Italia, avesse inviato gli ambasciatori a Salerno al principe Arechi II, per intimargli di sottomettersi alla sua autorità. Il rifiuto del sovrano longobardo avvenne in una sala che colpì gli ambasciatori per la sua bellezza. L'aula era circondata da un loggiato di cui sono visibili delle bifore con archi in mattoni che poggiano al centro su una colonna con capitello altomedievale. La parete destra è stata aggiunta in un periodo posteriore in quanto da quel lato l'aula doveva comunicare con il palazzo. Per la posizione geografica, vedi la mappa
Salerno-Badia di San Pietro a Corte - Palatine Chapel of Arechi II
San Pietro a Corte is a monumental complex of the Lombard age and is the only monument of Lombard civil architecture in Europe. The church of St. Peter in Court was built in the Longobarda age, in the eighth century AD, by the prince Arechis II, who moved the capital of Longobardia from Benevento to Salerno. To the north of the palace of Arechi, was and is located newly restored the chapel, the one that will be called in the Middle Ages, and is still called, San Pietro a Corte. Arechi II used it as a the Court Chapel. The complex of S. Pietro a Corte, located in the small square St. Peter's Court (see photo 1) located in the historic center of Salerno, looks like a case of a layered architecture. The monument is composed of three separate buildings: the the superior church "Chapel of Arechi", a vast underground environment "Hypogeum" and the Romanic bell tower (see Photo 20), is situated on the north side of the church (at that time the road was at least -m. 6.50 lower than the current road level, probably due to flood). The church consists of a single nave ending in a semicircular apse, built to replace the original rectangular apse during the sixteenth-century restoration. This intervention, built around 1576, is made by the will of the abbot Decio Caracciolo and also includes the construction of the actual staircase to the church.
The chapel of San Pietro a Corte was and is located in Largo Antica Corte, corner of Via Canali, the Monumental Complex of San Pietro a Corte is the most important witness in this Lombard City.It was part of the fortifications extended to the sea, along a road that was originally navigable route with chain to block the passage of hostile vessels, which Arechi II ordered the building. A city of approximately rectangular shape, very well-equipped, with few roads that descend from the mountain and others parallel to the coast. In this fortification, on the sea, Arechi places the palace with the castle high up on the hill and the walls that started from the castle along the western side of the Bonadies hill until reaching the sea, while the eastern walls probably descended as far as Piazza Flavio Gioa . The building had to be articulate on two levels, extended north-south axis. The southern part perhaps, was equipped with a tower on the wall that reached to the beach. So, to the east had a court largest, included workshops, barracks and stables; to the west another smaller court. The only surviving structure of the building is the chapel to the north, built over the earlier Roman baths. The columns of the portico are scattered in the building of the historical center and the city walls are destroyed or hidden by the buildings. Initially it was believed that this structure was the palace chapel. Today it is also believed that it could be the hall of representation, because of the presence of some elements of the titulus dictated by Paul the Deacon, who sang the praises of Arechi. Everyone they questioned the real existence of such a titulus, until they were discovered fragments with ".. GE DUC cleme ..", part hexameter "DUC DUC AGE CLEMENS Arichis PIA Suscipe VOTE". The individual letters are engraved in marble and were covered with gilded bronze and delimited above and below by strips, which are also covered with gilded bronze. "The Aula di Rappresentanza " is reported in the "Chronicon Salernitanum" (which is an important source for the study of the history of the principalities of Langobardia the eighth to the tenth century.) narrates that, in 787, Charlemagne defeated and conquered the Desire Lombard kingdom in northern Italy, he sent ambassadors to Prince in Salerno Arechi II, to command it to submit to his authority. The refusal of the Lombard king took place in a room that struck ambassadors for its beauty. The hall was surrounded by a portico of which are visible in the mullioned windows with brick arches that rest at the center of a column with capital the early medieval. The right wall has been added at a later period because on that side the hall ha a later period because on that side the hall had to communicate with the palace.
For the geographic location - See Map
Largo San Pietro a Corte in a photo from the late 1960s before the 1980 earthquake and the restoration carried out in the following years. On the left in the photo entrance of Vicolo Adelberga and Palazzo Fruscione and on the right of the Vicolo a shop on the ground floor and two balconies with hanging clothes (first and second floor) and on the top of the roof (second floor balcony) you can see the tip of the bell tower completely covered by the building that was removed during the restoration, bringing the bell tower back into view (see in the photo below in color). The rooms at street level until the 1950s were occupied by a baker, a charcoal burner and the chapel of Sant'Anna.
The entrance to the Hypogeum (to the left of the stairs), to the right of the bell tower and Palazzo Fruscione. On the left, the large (square), in the foreground Church of St. Matthew and St. Stephen Piczulo. - The Conte Peter's Dome Gastaldo and his wife Alcara, they build in '970 the church of St. Matthew and Thomas' ad hortum Magnum', 'suptus ecclesia Sancti Andrea', in their property. In a document dated 1040 is better determines the site 'a suptus et propinquo Archiepiscopio' from 1087, May, the church is always indicated by the single name of St. Matthew 'PIczulo' or 'Parvo'. Another document notes that in 1269 it is located 'on-site ubi dicitur channels to them'. Abolished in 1812, was united to St. Andrew.
San Pietro a Corte - Palatine Chapel - Regarding the structure, the large pillars of the upper hall (hall of representation) are placed on the frigidarium of a thermal complex of the imperial age (late 1st - early 2nd century AD), later reused as a burial ground by the Christian communities of Salerno where important public figures of the time (vir spectabilis) were buried. From above, there was access to a large hall that must have corresponded to the hall of representation with an adjoining Palatine chapel. In the following centuries (year 1567) the hall was modified by the commendatory abbot, Decio Caracciolo, who added the current access staircase, visible from the entrance of Largo Antica Corte. A chapel dedicated to the Marian cult was created between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. Among its various uses, it was also one of the seats of the Salerno Medical School for graduation ceremonies.
Currently you enter the palatine chapel, then San Pietro a Corte, from the homonymous larghetto, through the staircase, added after the destruction of part of the loggia. For the entrance to the same church in 700 a staircase was built that leads to a porch with a tympanum supported by columns.
San Pietro a Corte - Palatine Chapel - In 700 an entrance staircase to the same church was built which leads to a porch with a tympanum supported by columns. Recent unconfirmed theories indicate the environment of San Pietro a Corte not as the Palatine Chapel but as the hall of representation of the Reggia di Arechi II.
To access the former Palatine Chapel, then Badia di San Pietro a Corte, from the homonymous larghetto, the sixteenth-century staircase was built, added with the destruction of part of the loggia, which ends in a porch covered by a double sloping roof.
At street level until the fifties they were occupied by a baker shop by a charcoal burner and by the chapel of Sant'Anna on the north side.
The church is divided into a single nave ending in a semicircular apse, built to replace the original rectangular apse during the sixteenth-century restoration carried out around 1576, it was built by the will of the abbot Decio Caracciolo and also includes the construction of the current staircase access to the church.
During the long twentieth-century restoration work, the Lombard structures characterized by windows and mullioned windows, now free from the filling and cladding on the north side, came to light under the Baroque stuccoes. This element is configured as one of the main documents architectural elements of medieval Salerno being perhaps one of the few examples of conservation of an entire wing of high Lombard.
San Pietro a Corte - Palatine Chapel - Photo of about 300 °: on the left west wall with buffered entrance and some exits, after south wall with several mullioned windows and one mullioned window, east wall with semicircular "Apse" built to replace the original " Rectangular apse during the sixteenth-century restoration and altar on the south (not very visible on the right in the photo) southern wall (south) with reconstruction of the Baroque aspect with paintings. In the south wall there was a passage (now blocked) for access to the main building. The north wall was the only one from which the room could take daylight and single and mullioned windows were opened, arranged on two levels, which allowed the interior lighting of the room.
Archaeological excavations have brought to light fragments of what was once the floor and wall decoration. On the left (photo) we have a mosaic of squares in large and small green porphyry, of isosceles triangles in Palombino and rhombuses in antique red. In the center, the mosaic consists of four rectangles around a small red square in a central position and the rectangles, inside which are inscribed lozenges in lucullio, antique yellow or breccia, defined by red or green strips. On the right we have a very particular composition characterized by a hexagonal tile with a square in red or a round in green in the center of the hexagon. "Opus sectile" composition of colored stone slabs of various shapes and sizes, used for both floors and walls. The juxtaposition of small plates are arranged to form - by chromatic contrast - a more or less complex design.
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