Recently we had the honour of attending an investiture for I Cavalieri Templari a Marta - Marta Knights Templar held in a beautiful location, The Templar Castle and church dating from the 13C dedicated to Santa Maria delle Grazie and their surrounding grounds.
Before work commenced.
The three photos prior to and just after restoration of the church are with thanks to http://www.castellaraldo.it/index.htm
Castell’Araldo is a Templar Castle and church dating from the 13C, located on the road to Tuscania just a few kilometres outside Marta, on a hill 313 metres above sea level high with the river Marta in the valley way below. The Knights Templar Monks built it to defend the road and during that era it was important amongst the Bishops and Abbots of the region, also the local parliament of Montefiascone. After the dissolution of the order the castle passed to the order of Knights of St John in Jerusalem. In 1434 it was occupied by mercenary troops and started to fall into decline until it was destroyed in 1459 by the inhabitants of nearby Canino. The Knights of St John in Jerusalem continued to own and maintain the site until 1889 when the church was sold to the town of Marta.
It has always been considered an important site over the centuries as it was crossed by an important road, which joined the Via Aurelia and Via Cassia. It was also part of the Via Francigena, used by thousands of pilgrims travelling to Rome from Northern Europe.
Up to 2006 (and probably from the fifteenth century) the Castle and the Church remained only ruins covered with vegetation, work on recovery and restoration of the church was completed in 2008. It is wonderful to see the Castell’Araldo restored to its former glory after hundreds of years of neglect.
The management of the Church and the whole site is now organized by the Marta Knights Templar (VT), under the supervision of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage of the Lazio Region of Italy.
Occasionally feasts and ceremonies "Templars" are held in the presence of various authorities and local citizens at the site. It was our presence at one of these ceremonies that enabled me to take these photographs.
The purpose of this post is to share some photos plus a little history of the Il Castello Templare di Castell’Araldo del XIII secolo but if you are interested in finding out more about either Castell’Areldo and I Cavalieri Templari a Marta - Marta Knights Templar I have included some links to two websites that may be useful.
Photos are my own All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection unless otherwise stated and information was researched with the help of the following websites.
http://www.castellaraldo.it/ Official Website dedicated to the site.