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Orta Nova, Italy

December 5th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

Orta Nova is a town about 25.4 km from Foggia, in the region of Puglia, southern Italy. It stretches to the Southern patch of the Tavoliere (Foggia's plain) to the right of Carapelle stream.

The origins of the name "Orta" are rather controversial, as it may indicate: "crooked-born", from Latin ortus, or "garden" from the Latin word hortus, or also "East".

The Romans built a courier post in the area, previously a territory of the Daunians.

In the early Middle Ages a hamlet, whose name is mentioned in a document dating back to 1184, was built on the ruins of the Roman post. This hamlet came under the control of the Benedictine abbey of Venosa.

Under the Italo-Norman rule the Palace of Orta had its Concergius — a knight noted for his war capabilities — charged with guarding a castle or palace. In 1269 Pietro Galesio became Contergius, followed Raolino Normando followed. With the arrival of Henry VI of Hohenstaufen, Orta and its hamlet were part of a territorial defending plan as some documents attest.

Instead of the hamlet, a castrum was built under Hanry's son, Frederick II, a sort of little country villa used for recreation. Here he had a castle built where he could hunt in the wood in its neighbourhood.

In 1271, afther the Angevine conquest of southern Italy, renovations were started by a royal "carpentier", Jean de Toul. In 1282 the castle of Orta, together with other 5 in the area, is attested to be directely managed by the royal court.

From the 14th century until the Aragonese conquets a darken epoch follows, in which the first conflicts started with the local pasture of the Teutonic Knights and continued having bad harvest and epidemic dating back to 1348, when the local province — also called "Capitanata" or "Daunia" — was struck by the Black Death that reduced the number of inhabitants by 35 %.

The Fiefdom of Orta was purchased by the Jesuits of the Roman College in 1611; they also purchased the fiefdom of Stornara, the property of Ordona and the feudal farms of Stornara and Carapelle. The Jesuits were expelled from the Kingdom of Naples in 1767 with the seizure of the lands of Orta Nova and the close territories of Ordona (Herdoniae), Stornara, Stornarella and Carapelle; they were switched by the Royal Household, whence the name of "5 Royal Lands" (the 5 Reali Siti) or 5 agricultural colonies.

With the abolition of Feudalism in 1808, Orta became an independent town with Ordona and Carapelle, and, after Italy's unification, in 1863 it received the name of Nova, to distinguish it from two similar-named Italian towns (Orta San Giulio and Orta di Atella).

[Source: Wikipedia]

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