Norcia: visit the monuments of the city of San Benedetto
What to see in Norcia, attractions and main monuments, walking tour includes places of interest to visit in the ancient Umbrian town linked to Saints Benedict and Scholastica.
Norcia is located at an altitude of 604 meters above sea level on the northern edge of the plateau of St. Scholastica, in the heart of the Umbria-Marche. The area surrounding Norcia is rich in archaeological remains that attest to the presence of man since the Middle Paleolithic. The city was founded by the Sabines in the fifth century BC and the beginning of the third century BC it was conquered by the Romans and became the town hall after the Social War occurred at the beginning of the first century BC.
Norcia and its territory were evangelized by San Feliciano, bishop of Foligno, to start from the middle of the third century. It was the seat of the diocese in the fourth century, and in 480 twins were born in Norcia Saints Benedict and Scholastica. At that time the world was shaken by a deep crisis of values and institutions, due to the collapse of the Roman Empire and the arrival of new peoples.
Norcia was invaded by the Lombards and the city was agglomerated in the Duchy of Spoleto, was in this historical phase that St. Benedict brought an authentic spiritual ferment that was realized with a new spiritual and cultural unity, overcoming his time and his homeland. The Benedictine Rule-based expert balance between prayer and work, from which is derived the famous motto “Ora et labora” (pray and work), came to the whole Western monasticism.
The monks were applied in a variety of human activities, such as writing, music, architecture, crafts, land reclamation, the medical arts, and the achievements of food, contributing greatly to the growth of humanity . Proseguento in the history of Norcia, in 1200 was born the town, which was consolidated in the next century when the walls were built.
Norcia in 1484 came under the Papal Legation of Perugia, and in 1500 the papal commissioner took the place of the mayor. The first half of 1600 was characterized by a major building renovation, arts and culture, but in the next century two earthquakes suddenly erased what had been established after 1328. Until its annexation to the Kingdom of Italy, excluding the Napoleonic period, Norcia was ruled by the Papal States.
What to see in Norcia
The city center is Piazza San Benedetto, where are the main monuments.
– Church of St. Benedict, built in 1200 and remodeled several times. Very nice crypt in the local tradition is considered the birthplace of Benedict and Scholastica. From the crypt leads to an archaeological area below the basilica. Leaning against the right side of the church of St. Benedict is the porch of the measures built around 1570.
– Castellina was built in 1554 designed by Vignola, and was the seat of the prefecture and of the papal governors.
– Cathedral of Santa Maria Argentea, which stands on the ruins of the ancient church, was built between 1560 and 1574, but has been renovated several times due to earthquakes.
– Town Hall Norcia built in 1300 on a project of Perugia Domenico Mollajoli, but this period is only the lower part of the building and the portal, for the damage caused by earthquakes.