Address: Roccacasale

Description

The castle of the barons De Sanctis is located above the town of Roccacasale, on the slopes of Mount Morrone, and dominates the road that connects Popoli with Sulmona. Its function to warn and defend has guaranteed, over the centuries, the survival of the residential area built below it.
According to tradition, the castle was founded in 925 by order of the Count of Spoleto in order to prevent the Arabs from reaching the Sangro Valley and the Cinquemiglia Plateau. Later the building was managed by the Cantelmo family and then, in the 16th century, it became the domain of the Barons De Sanctis, until 1803 when it was destroyed by the Napoleonic invasion.
During the 1990’s the whole complex was restored.

Exterior

The castle of Roccacasale, is a ‘castle enclosure’ and has a triangular shape with a strut-tower at the top, positioned to also defend attacks from above. The structure is situated relative to the other fortifications which together protect the route from Sulmona to L'Aquila, in particular those at Fossa, Barisciano and San Pio delle Camere, whilst at the same time having its own form which distinguishes it from the others. From the remains it is clear that in the area below the wall, there was a real baronial residence not only used for defensive puposes over the centuries. The partially collapsed tower, the best preserved part of the complex, is oriented to the southeast. Nevertheless we can still see its grandeur in comparison to the rest of the enclosed structure. It was adapted to the land through terracing giving it a stepped profile. Access to the square and the entire complex was through an arched doorway in a tower located on the eastern side.

Interior

The Comune of Roccacasale, owners of the castle, have provided a building inside the area to use as a museum for the documentation of folk traditions and for use as a multi-purpose conference room.