Miglionico

Miglionico

Miglionico is a historic hilltop town, overlooking the Bradano and Basento valleys. The picturesque old town was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1980, however it has been mainly rebuilt since then and boasts beautifully restored houses alongside stunning historic churches that have somehow remained untouched.

The highlights of Miglionico are the mother church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which has a wonderful Renaissance portal, the small church of the Trinità, containing frescoes dating from the middle of the XV century, and the church of San Francesco, flanked by a small monastery containing a wonderful polyptych created in 1499 by Cima di Conegliano.

 

History

Miglionico was first fortified by the Byzantines and then later by the Normans. The 15th century was marked by Aragonese domination, who settled on the throne of Naples. During this period, Miglionico became famous when all the barons of the kingdom opposing Ferdinand I of Aragon, king of Naples, gathered in the Miglionico Castle, which belonged to the Sanseverino family and feigned an act of obedience to the king, while waiting for the Pope’s help.

Miglionico Castle

Miglionico Castle rests strategically on its hilltop location and is widely known as “The Castle of the bad council” for having hosted the conspiracy of the barons in 1485. The Castle was expanded in the 12th and 14th centuries and its easily recognisable with its seven impressive towers and unusual parallelogram shape.

The current entrance is located to the northeast, as the original one was destroyed by the 1857 earthquake. The Hall of Malconsiglio, located on the upper floor, is where he the conspiracy of the barons was held, and the Hall of the Star or the Spirits is arguably the most beautiful place in the Castle with a starred ceiling and treasure chests.

Church of Santa Maria Maggiore

The church of Santa Maria Maggiore, known as the Mother Church, was built during the 14th century  and subsequently expanded between 1515 and 1534 with the addition of side chapels. The church was Orthodox until 1729, after which it was introduced to the Latin rite.

The church boasts beautiful painted frescos from the 16th and 17th centuries, including a depiction of the Madonna and Child in Glory with Saints Carlo Borromeo and Eligio by Alexander Fracanzano. Other notable artworks include a painting by Pietro Antonio Ferro, depicting the Madonna and Child with St. Bartholomew and St. Martin, located near the second altar in the left aisle, and the Madonna del Rosario signed by Jerome Todisco on the first altar of the right aisle dating back to 1634. In the right aisle there is also a chapel with an altar featuring a wooden statue of St. Anthony of Padua dating back to the 16th century.

The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie

This church was rebuilt by Ettore Fieramosca, who was Count of Miglionico. Inside there are several beautiful frescos, a wooden statue of the Madonna delle Grazie, carved in 1786 by the sculptor Puglia Archangel Spirdicchio and a small 16th century organ.