Craco
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CRACO

A sorrowful and evocative village of ancient origin, Craco rises like a ghost on the summit of a hill which dominates the Cavone Valley.

History

A centre with pre-Roman origins which flourished between the VIII and VI centuries BC. Some tombs have been uncovered in the district of S. Angelo.
Not much is known from ancient times. The first concrete information regarding the existence of Graculum or Cracum date back to the period of Norman conquest of Basilicata and Southern Italy (XI century). In 1060 it was registered as being among Archbishop Arnaldo di Tricarico’s properties. An ecclesiastical presence suggests that the re-population of the hill on which the ancient pre-Roman centre was positioned, was carried out by Basilian monks during the X century.
Under the Normans, it was assigned to Erberto (1154-1168) and Roberto of Pietrapertosa (1176-1179). Under the Swabians it was assigned to Goffredo (1239). During this era, the Castle on the summit of the hill already existed.

With the ascension to the throne of Carlo I of Angiò (1268), Craco was given in fief to Pietro de Beaumont. Following this, the most powerful families of the Medieval period were given Craco in fief: the Monforte (until the end of the XIII century), the Del Balzo, the Sforza (XV century) and the Sanseverino (XVI century).

In 1799, the population adhered to Republican ideals, rising up against the power of the nobility who were feudatories, but the rebellion was repressed in blood by the troops of Cardinal Ruffo.

The year 1963, saw the beginning of landslides which caused many dwellings to collapse. Sadly, the population had to transfer to another location, leaving Craco completely abandoned in 1975.

A visit to the City

Those wishing to visit Craco, should expect a moving and desolating experience. One can walk through the ruins of houses, along abandoned paths and admire nobiliary buildings. It’s possible to walk up to the Castle’s tower on the summit of the village, then descend and visit the Parochial of San Nicola where one can admire the view to console oneself a little. All this without once meeting another live soul. It seems however, that Craco still has an inhabitant who resists the terrible blow inflicted by the landslide.

For its evocative strength, the image of Craco has been used over the years in various films as a background setting; the last being the Passion of Christ by Mel Gibson.

Place of interest

The Castle ruins; Palazzo Grossi; Palazzo Carbone; Palazzo Simonetti; Palazzo Madonna; Parochial of San Nicola; San Pietro Church and Convent; Lake Salso Spring.

CRACO
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Basilicata region of Italy

 

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