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Lombard and Frankish populations and the beginnings of the monasticism

The Lombard invasion (568 AD) reached Abruzzi, that was the connection region between the Duchy of Spoleto and the Duchy of Benevento. In fact in the Majella area there are several Lombard toponyms such as fara and sala.

The worship of Saint Michael the Archangel, the spiritual warrior chosen as their patron by converted Lombards, was widespread especially inside the caves. At the end of the 8th century Frankish rule added to the Lombard one (the city of Chieti was conquered in 801).

During the Lombard-Frankish epoch rose the Benedectine abbeys of San Vincenzo al Volturno and San Clemente a Casauria. For several centuries these abbeys, together with Montecassino, represented the main reference centres all over the Majella’s territory. San Clemente abbey, built in 871 by emperor Louis II the Younger, is very close to the northern slope of the massif. The network of monasteries built in this area, starting from the 9th century, in most cases relied on the three Benedectine abbeys above. Some of the oldest foundations are: San Liberatore a Majella (Serramonacesca), relied on Montecassino; San Salvatore a Majella (Rapino), already built in the 10th century and probably by local people. San Martino in Valle (Fara San Martino), San Nicola di Coccia (Palena) and San Leopardo Church (Pacentro) date back to the 9th century.     

Image of the Abbey of San Liberatore a Majella
Image of "Grotta S. Angelo Lettomanoppello"
Image of "S. Martino in Valle"
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