History of Montefalco

The history of Montefalco dates back to the 4th century when Saint Fortunato introduced Christianity to the area. In the early 5th century, the Bishop of Spoleto built a basilica. A few years later, the basilica became a parish church for entire territory. During the Middle Ages, this area became known as Coccorone. As legend explains, it was named after the founder, Marco Curione, the Roman senator; however, historians believe the name was derived from the Greek Oros (mount). Somewhere between 1249 and 1250, Coccorone changed its name to Montefalco. It is believed that the name was changed due to one of the falcons of Emperor Federico II that stayed in Coccorone February 9th to 13th of 1240. From this time onward until 1425 Montefalco was a free commune that was governed by consuls, by boni homines and varies other counsels. The city carter was first documented in 1282 but also went through many changes until 1425. In the 14th century, Montefalco was a popular area for the rectors of the Dukedom of Spoleto. Jean d'Amiel was one of these rectors that built many strongholds to protect Montefalco; however, most of these buildings were destroyed in the 15th century. Montefalco saw many battles throughout history and many different governing heads. However, one battle on October 18th, 1527 sent Montefalco into deterioration and many people of the area died from plagues. The Blacks Bands led by Orazio Baglioni, took control of Montefalco for an entire month beginning on that date. Finally, in 1812, Pope Pio IX who was the former Archbishop of Spoleto obtained Montefalco and restoration began. Montefalco has a very unique history being the birthplace of eight saints such as Agostinian mystic S.Chiara della Croce who was born in 1268, the poet Nicola da Montefalco born during the 15th century, author of the Filenico, painter Francesco Melanzio born in 1460, scholar of perugino and Pinturicchio, Cardinal Giovanni Domenico de Cuppis, and clergyman Don Brizio Casciola born in 1896.

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