Tourist Attraction in Caserta: Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo
The church, dedicated to San Michele Arcangelo, lies in a medieval village of Lombardy originated on the top of a hill, 401 meters above the slopes of the Tifatini Mountains. The habitation is a hilly part of the capital, about 10 km from the capital and is now called "Caserta vecchia" or Casertavecchia but in the Middle Ages simply "Caserta" (originally Casa Hirta) before the denomination passed to the center on the plain (first called Torri, then Caserta new and finally Caserta). Casertavecchia was a fortified center, home to a Longobard County, then Norman, and diocese, after the destruction of the old Episcopal seat of Calatia (near the current Maddaloni) in the Middle Ages. Documented as castrum already around 861, it became the possession of Norman Riccardo of Aversa in 1062. Thus began the period of Norman domination that saw the urban development of the town, the creation of the diocese and the rise of the cathedral. The episcopal church was built from 1113 onwards by the bishop Rainulfo as the inscription on the right side portal of the façade: "POST PATRIS EXCESSUS RAINULFI PONTIFICATUS SUBSEDIT CATHEDRAM NYCOLAUS VIR MODERATUS PREDECESSORIS FRETUS HERE TEMPORE DEXTRA CAEPIT ET HANC AULAM DUM QUIVIT ET EXTULIT EXTRA »The church represents an exemplary episode of the Romanesque period in Campania as it presents contemporaneously influences from Sicily with others coming from Romanesque and early Christian tradition. The building is built in "Campanian gray tuff" an ignimbrite similar to the pepper, left to face. Easy to work, it is presented in the variety used in Casertavecchia with a prevailing gray color used between the DODICESIMO and the SECRET Century, also in Capua and Salerno. The façade, which is in the West as tradition, is salient and reflects the inside of three naves; is characterized by three white Luni marble portals (contrasting with gray-oak tufaceous masonry) with ornate plants that resemble ancient iconographies. Zoomorphic sculptures support the architraves and emerge, from shelf, from masonry. The tympanum is characterized by a series of blinded arches twisted to form ogive resting on six marble columns. A wall hanging frame runs on all the facades. The southern prospect is decorated with marble lozenges, while the opposite side is characterized by elliptical shapes.