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History – Majella

Majella National Park is rich for the wild nature and also for the historical, archeological and architectural characteristics and remains. Inhabited ever since the Paleolithic era, the Majella conserves important testimonies of this vast period. They have been found in the important sites of Valle Giumentina, Grotta degli Orsi and Grotta del Colle.

The following historical periods brought to the Majella the forms of agrosilvopastoral economy which, together with the diffusion of monastic and obscure presences influenced very much the historical and natural resources. The most important testimonies of this era are the tholos, huts made with stones, and the classic installation of shepherds.

Centralized and fortified inhabited areas are the Castra from Salle, Musellaro, Roccamorice and Manoppello. There are also the mosaic areas as Clemente a Casauria, San Liberatore a Majella, San Salvatore a Majella, San Tomaso a Paterno, Santo Spirito a Majella. The many hermitages dug out of the friable rock of the mountain such as Sant’Onorfio in Seramonacesca, Santo Spirito and San Bartolomeo.

When the hermits disappeared, the most impervious areas of the Majella were, for a long time, uncontested rule of bandits and brigands.  The important testimonies left by the latter still exist  such, for example the incision carved into a rock called “Tavola dei Briganti” (the brigand’s table).

Majella is the Park of the hermits, abbeys, tholos and historical centres of Pescocostanzo, Pacentro, Palena and Guardiagrele, the terracotta figures of Pacentro, the carved wood of Pretoro, the lacework of Pescocostanzo the fabric of Taranta Peligna, the copper and iron of Guardiagrele, the jewellery of Sulmona, Pescocostanzo and Guardiagrele.

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