Arechi Castle (Italy)
Campania See list of castles in Italia
The castle takes its name from its main builder, Arechi II, duke of Benevento in the 8th century and prince of the Lombard nobility.
Already in the period of the Roman Empire, Strabo and Tito Livio described a camp in the hills above Salerno. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, a more permanent fortress existed. The fortress of Salerno played a role in the Gothic War (535-554), in which the Ostrogoths fought against the Byzantines under the general Narses.
The castle was built and regularly fortified from the 8th to the 11th century. Prince Arechi II of Benevento was the main builder. The reason was that he moved the capital of the Duchy of Benevento from Benevento to Salerno. Three hundred meters above sea level, a fortress was built on Mount Bonadies (or Goeiedag ). By extension, the medieval fortress included several hills above Salerno; for example, to the northeast of the castle is the Bastille, a monumental watchtower. Furthermore, the city walls descended to the left and right of the castle. These enclosed the city of Salerno on the coast. This gave Salerno a triangular view from the sea, with the castle of Arechis at the top.
In 1077 the last Lombard duke, Gisulfo II, Prince of Salerno, gave the castle to the Normans. Salerno Castle became a base for their northward-moving cavalry. After the Normans, the Castle of Salerno became a stronghold of the new rulers, the Aragonese. The castle played an important role in the Aragonese defense in the Kingdom of Naples.
In later times the castle of Salerno lost its strategic importance. The last soldiers left the castle in the 19th century.