Historical buildings - introduction
The historical buildings represent the source of our culture and identity. These buildings are still generally in use, or if abandoned, they can be used for purposes different from the original ones.
To safeguard this architectonical heritage means to appreciate the history and the traditions of a great country.
Often the preservation activity calls for careful restoration that only a thorough knowledge of the ancient techniques and modern systems of consolidation and restoration can guarantee.
Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Environmental Conservation frequently binds over such buildings for certain kind of use and preservation that constitute a burden for the owners of these buildings and for those who are interested in buying them.
The buildings on sale on our website are valid examples of how it is possible to transform prestigious buildings such as churches or castles into dwellings or holiday houses with all modern comforts and at the same time preserve the original characteristics of the building.
Historical buildings - origin
We have preferred to divide the "historical buildings" into two groups:
- religious buildings, for example countryside parish churches, other churches, monasteries, abbeys etc. which purposes have changed over the centuries, and which have been deconsecrated and then transformed into hostels for wayfarers.
(Have a look at our property on-line with the reference number 168 - Pieve di S. Egidio)
- residences, public and private, of historical importance, such as old castles or parts of fortifications set in the living areas; buildings that were originally mills but which have been transformed into welcoming residences; buildings that have served as municipalities, libraries, museums, military buildings, watchtowers of a territory.
(Have a look at our property on-line with the reference number 106 - Castello di Fontana Liri, or number 275 - Villa Rosea)
Historical buildings - evolution
As already mentioned above, this category includes all the historical buildings that were born with a specific purpose but which have been transformed into something else with the time passing as the needs of the owners changed. They modified the dimensions, adapting them to the present, changed the structures, added rooms or superfetations, demolished parts of the pre-existing buildings and reconstructed something new on the remains. An example of this could be represented by donjons of a castle that were first used as watchtowers and then later on covered by roofs and made inhabitable.
Historical buildings - diffusion
These buildings are spread almost everywhere in the peninsula. They stand isolated in the countryside (like parish churches), or are set in pleasant places, often on a mountain slope (like monasteries or abbeys), located quite far away from town centres, on rocky spurs that overlook the valley. These constructions are sometimes placed in a strategic position in order to defend town centres (castles or watchtowers), or built near watercourses in order to exploit the energy (mills).
Historical buildings are widespread also in the Sabina area, where almost all the villages rose during the period of battlements, when the settlements moved from the countryside to more protected places, often set on top of a hill so that they could be easily defended from the barbarian invasions and from the brigands' forays.
This is how the castles with defensive purpose, fortified dwellings and town walls which traces are still visible in the whole area, were born. The same way also religious buildings are widespread and visible, seen the long period Sabina passed under the influence of the Papal State.
The presence of parish churches and other churches is a steady factor in the architecture and landscape of the area.
Historical buildings - structure
As to castles, it is necessary to say that they (particularly the oldest ones) have the same structure, the same aspect and the same internal and external arrangements. Their characteristics indeed met the needs of the military Architecture of the feudal period during which the continuous state of war and fight caused noble demonstrations of medieval warlike Art.
So, the feudatories existing in the 10th-14th centuries were not the only ones who had to live in fortified buildings but also monasteries and churches had similar needs to be defended.
The walling material was generally supplied by local rocks. The wood, much used both in the structures and in the covering of the internal parts of the buildings as well as in the structure and covering of the roof, were obtained from the surrounding forests, while the stratified rocks offered large slabs used for the flooring and in some cases also for the covering. In this way any feudatory, even if poor, was able to build a strong and equipped dwelling for himself.
Rough walls surrounded the position chosen for defence. The rounds, held up by wooden brackets or slabs of stone, revolved along them. With the time passing the walls got battlements, angle towers with more floors and more places for the guardians were built, and the rounds were covered with a wooden framework.
Historical buildings - ornamental pieces
These constructions are generally brightened up by noble ornamentals, planned by valued artists who interprete the luxurious desires of the owners with the most elevated sense of aesthetics, preserving the signs of the historical period of that time and of the economic power and social importance of their customers on the buildings.
For example churches and abbeys were, and sometimes still are, entirely decorated both internally and externally with mosaics, sculptures and paintings, through which sacred stories or miracles performed by saints were tried to be spread.