The Monumental Complex of San Pietro a Corte is the most important Longobard construction in Salerno. The monumental remains represent the main architectural emergences of Medieval Salerno and, as regards the Longobard architecture in Europe, they are the only example of a Palace building complex. It was built by Arechi II, the duke of Benevento, which was then capital of his dukedom. In 774, after the defeat of the Northern Longobards by Charles Magnus and after having been conferred the title of ‘Princeps gentium langobardorum’ (king of Longobards), Arechi II for political and strategic reasons transferred his residence from that town to Salerno, where he built a magnificent palace. As regards its structure, the pilasters of the upper room (official room) stand on a frigidarium of a spa building complex dating back to the imperial age (III century A.C.). Then this space was reused as cemetery by the Cristian communities in Salerno and important public personalities of the time were buried there. From upstairs you could enter a large room which was probably the official room with an adjoining the Palatine chapel. Over the following centuries (in 1567) this room was modified by the abbot Decio Caracciolo, who added to it the present access great staircase. Between the 13th and 16th centuries a chapel devoted to the cult of the Virgin Mary was made. Among the different uses it has had up to now, it was also seat of the Salernitan Medical School.

 

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