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Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Lazio  /  Province of Viterbo  /  Montefiascone

Montefiascone

4.5
Churches · Architectural Buildings · Landmarks
Montefiascone is a town and comune of the province of Viterbo, in Lazio, central Italy. It stands on a hill on the southeast side of Lake Bolsena, about 100km north of Rome.HistoryThe name of the city derives from that of the Falisci (Mons Faliscorum, "Mountain of the Falisci"). Later, it was controlled by the Etruscans. It was suggested that Montefiascone occupies the site of the Etruscan Temple called Fanum Voltumnae, at which the representatives of the twelve chief cities of Etruria met in the days of their independence. Under the Empire, the festival was held near Volsinii.The first documents mentioning Montefiascone are from 853 CE, when it belonged to the bishop of Tuscania. In 1058 and 1074 the Popes Stephen IX and Gregory VII, respectively, stopped here. In 1093 the fortress was besieged by Emperor Henry IV. The importance of the fortress was confirmed by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa's visit in 1185.In the following two centuries, as a Papal possession, Montefiascone lived its period of highest splendour. The Castle was often residence of Popes, and was consequently enlarged and embellished. During Avignon Papacy, it was the main residence of the Papal legate Cardinal Albornoz. In 1463, however, it was already decaying, as in the words of by Pope Pius II. The decline increased after the plague of 1657 and the earthquake of 1697.
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