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Cirella

What to see in Diamante, Cosenza, Calabria


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Cirella is the only fraction of the seaside village of Diamante. The promotory which tends toward the sea, naturally defended, hosts on its top the remains of the ancient "Cerillae". It is an ancient medieval village, with structure perched typical of the centers byzantine-norman of the Alto Tirreno Calabrese, such as for example Scalea and Amantea. It appears that in 649 at the Synod of Pope Martin I took part in a Romanus Episcopus Cerellitanus, and this allows to affirm that Cirella constituted an important point of reference in the organization of Calabria in the seat of the diocese.

Ceriallae was a thriving colony of Magna Grecia. The town on mount had its origins in a later epoch, around the IX century, when the Saracen raids on the coast drove the inhabitants to settle in a position more secure and easily defensible as the promontory of Monte Carpinoso. A Saracen incursion of 950 d.C., guided by the Emir Al Hasan would even razed to the ground the coastal village.

In 1556 the family stalks of Scigliano ceded the property to the family installment. In 1576 it was sacked by seven barbaresche galleys, captained by Kair 'El Din, said Barbarossa. According to the legend, the pirates would have arrived to plunder the country on indication of a Roman merchant, who had received the wrongs by cirellesi. The memory of a Turkish invasion occurred in 1576 however is confirmed by sources having survived the abandonment of the ancient town. It was the object of other raids by the Ottoman pirates Sinam Cicala Pasha, Dragut Rays and Uccialì. Subsequently with the plague of 1656 and the earthquakes of 1638 and 1738 which struck the Calabria, the feud fell into ruin and its property passed from family Sanseverino to Catalan Gonzaga. In 1806-1807 a quota of the Napoleonic troops besieged and occupied the medieval village, settling in the residence of the dukes Catalano-Gonzaga. Since the event was born the legend that the village was attacked by giant ants, which devoured the inhabitants of the country. In 1808, the British navy, from the sea, accomplished a heavy bombardment of the French outpost, including the tower present on the island of Cirella. The village on the Monte was permanently erased and the inhabitants survivors then decided to rebuild the center on the coast. The rimanenenti structures were then used as a stone quarry and vandalicamente stripped of articles present. Currently the spontaneous vegetation has invaded the streets and buildings, making, in some points, difficult passage.

Castle
structures testify to the foundation of the village in the Byzantine era, but the main phase is represented by the Norman arrival in Calabria, second half of the XI century. In the XIII century, in full the Swabian Age, the town was protected with a double wall, and subsequently in the XIII-XIV century, during the Angevin period, received further enlargements. Some texts indicate the foundation of the castle to the work of the prince Carrafa in the XVIII century. A document of appreciate testifies that the castle had courtyard, a large hall, stable et fundico, prison, room for grains et servimenti, cocina and oven, tower with the tank.

Church of Saint Nicholas Magno
The Church of Saint Nicholas Magno was instead built on horseback between the XIV and the XV century, and therein contained a cycle of frescoes, today in part kept in the church of Santa Maria de' Flores in the modern town center. Visiting the ruins of the Church, to its inside there are still traces of frescoes. A document of appreciate for the S.R.C. of Naples, says that in 1617 there were celebrating 14 priests assisted by clerics and lay people.

Church of the Annunziata
are still visible the ruins of a smaller church, the Church of the Annunziata, whose origins are uncertain. The Church, with the roof and the walls almost completely collapsed has in its interior a small altar and benches for the faithful. The document I appreciate specifies that hosted a congregation of men.

Theater of the Ruins
of the monastery of the minima of San Francesco di Paola of the XVI century (side mountains) and the ruins of the medieval cirella (SIDE SEA) rises the Theater of ruins. The structure, in greek style, was built between 1994 and 1997, and is currently used for shows and concerts. The panorama makes the place a theater very suggestive.

  • Via Tredoliche, Diamante (Cosenza)
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