Montalbano Park’s Archeological Area

Historic-cultural Points of Interest - Oria - Via Tommaso D'Oria, 12

DESCRIPTION

Montalbano Park

A park placed right next to the Norman-Swabian Castle’s eastern wall, in the beginning it was a plot of land left in an abandoned state, then changed, around 1700, by the Celestines of the close monastery, into a beautiful and suggestive rooftop garden slopping in several balconies and they used it as a meditation room, orchard and probably for medicinal herbs’ cultivation, as the presence of Asclepius’s symbol testifies. Afterwards the property was handed to Salerno-Mele family; the family with great enthusiasm enriched it with several exotic plants and many flowerbeds, organazing and arranging it partially as an Italian-style garden and partially as an English-style garden, creating a pleasent naturalistic route with panoramic views, from which it is still possible to admire a wonderful landscape. Boxwood’s hedges leads tourists to tubs, lakes and evocative green spaces. You are being lead from a series of staircases to a charming panoramic alley that links two towers to the adjacent Norman-Swabian Castle: the Tower of Salto and the Tower of Sperone. Afterwards the Salerno-Mele household donated it to Oria’s bishop and then it was left in an abandoned state. In 1982 it was bought by the City Council that restored it to its former glory.

Montalbano Park’s Archeological Area

In september 2013, during Montalbano Park’s requalification works (a mediterranean garden of municipal property placed across the hill’s northern side on top of which Oria’s Castle stands) a series of archeological testimonies, between Hellenistic Age (IV-III century b.C.) and Middle Ages (X-XII century a.D.) were discovered. Most of the discoveries focuses on three excavation essays conducted in 2015 that have made possible to document the existence of at least three residential and productive housing structures of mediaeval age (in one of the discovered houses, in fact, the remains of machine used to convert agricultural products were brought to light), a graveyard (that had rests of dozens of people, probably lived between X and XII century a.D., and skeletons’ remains of kids dead after few months).

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