Loquis: La Rocca dei Papi a Montefiascone

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La Rocca dei Papi a Montefiascone


Published on:  2018-03-13 16:28:00


Rocca dei Papi is the fulcrum of the political and cultural history of Montefiascone, the characteristic village looking out upon Lake Bolsena. Built by Pope Innocent III in the early 1200s, it underwent several renovations over the centuries, including those by Urban IV and by Martin IV between 1281 and 1282. During the period of the Avignon crisis, Rocca di Montefiascone was the centre of political affairs for the entire Patrimonium Sancti Petri. The rector, the absent pope's representative, performed his functions there with the broadest authority. In addition to the rectors, the legates sent from Avignon to reform the state of the province dwelled there with their own court. Pope Urban V chose it as his summer residence during the years of his stay in Italy (1367-1370), and decided to perform major renovations there; the large cistern dug into the piazza in front of the palazzo was built at that time. Later, towards the late fifteenth century, Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, commissioned by Duke Valentino (better known as Cesare Borgia), drew up a design for renovating the Rocca, seeking to adapt the old building to the new defence requirements arising with the use of gunpowder and cannons.

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