8

Fortifications and castles

Castles

Castle of  Bojano

Castle of
B
ojano

The ruins of this fortification are located at the top of the Civita, isolated from the medieval town. The study of the planimetrical and structural characteristics does not allow us to differentiate clearly between the Longobard and Norman influences. Interpretation has been made even more difficult by recent works that have homogenised parts of the masonry. The Pandone castle appears as the outstanding element on a large plain on the lower slopes of the Matese massif, controlling the traffic along the Pescasseroli-Candela sheep-track. Sections of cyclopean walls have been discovered in the neighbourhood, indicating an early Samnite fortification reused at later periods.
During the reign of Fredrick II the area was the scene of conflicts between the representatives of the Emperor and Judith, wife of Count Tommaso di Celano. The Civita is mentioned in the Registrum Friderici II: in a document dated 19 October 1239 the Emperor ordered the houses built near the fortress to be demolished and the military structures to be promptly reconditioned. The castle included an area where the population could occasionally find shelter, the Countís residence in the centre, and an upper court. Of the structures of the fortification, two large enceintes separated crossways by a ditch that exploits the natural shape of the site are still visible. The site is fronted by the ruins of a large rectangular hall, with only a section of the vaulted (depressed arch) roof remaining. The openings show a marked inner splay. The courtyard serves as drill ground and defence enclosure (diateichisma). Of the original towers, the only surviving one is on the western corner, where the remains of a cistern are also visible. Long sections of the medieval enclosing wall with towers and gateways still remain, though they have been partly incorporated in more recent buildings. Recent excavations have unearthed important glazed ceramics from the 13th century.