Rocca Calascio

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Coordinates: 42°19′44.28″N 13°41′20.20″E / 42.3289667°N 13.6889444°E / 42.3289667; 13.6889444

Rocca Calascio
Rocca Calascio
Rocca Calascio, the distinction is evident between larger stones for its lower half and smaller stones for the upper structure
Type Fortress
Site history
Built 10th century
Materials stone and masonry

Rocca Calascio is a mountaintop fortress or rocca in the Province of L'Aquila in Abruzzo, Italy.

At an elevation of 1,460 metres (4,790 ft), Rocca Calascio is the highest fortress in the Apennines. Built of stone and masonry exclusively for military purposes and intended only to accommodate troops and never as residence for nobles, the fortress overlooks the Plain of Navelli at one of the highest points in the ancient Barony of Carapelle.

Santa Maria della Pietà and Rocca Calascio.
Santa Maria della Pietà

Construction of the fortress started in the tenth century as a single watchtower. A walled courtyard with four cylindrical towers at the corners around a taller inner tower was added in the thirteenth century. The lower half of the fortress is built with distinctively larger stones than its upper half. It is believed that this feature was to make its base impenetrable to invaders. The fortress was never tested in battle. However, it was badly damaged in November 1461 by an earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7 to 8 on the Richter Scale.[1] While the town of Calascio, which lies below the fortress, was rebuilt, the fortress was not.[2]

Rocca Calascio lies within the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park and alongside the high plain of Campo Imperatore.

Santa Maria della Pietà[edit]

Near the fortress, at a slightly lower elevation, is Santa Maria della Pietà, an octagonal church built in the seventeenth century.

In media[edit]

Rocca Calascio was the location for the final scene of Richard Donner film Ladyhawke.[3]

Notes[edit]