It is the oldest monument in Torella dei Lombardi and represents the identity of the town. On the Girifalco hill stands the Norman Tower, far from the town center, in a wonderful naturalistic setting, offering peace, tranquility and culture. You have the opportunity to "breathe" nature by totally immersing yourself in the green. In this place the first inhabited nucleus of the Torellesi was formed who gathered around the tower and began to create the first social aggregations. Torella dei Lombardi is currently an Italian town of 2,240 inhabitants in the province of Avellino in Campania. It stands on the edge of the so-called "crater", the area most affected by the 1980 Irpinia earthquake. Its origin dates back to the period in which the Lombard King Ludovico II resolved the dispute for the Duchy of Benevento 848 AD, establishing the border between the aforementioned Duchy and that of Salerno on the Fredane river, around which forts or fortresses were born, on one side Sant'Angelo del Pesco (in the territory of Frigento) and Rocca San Felice, and on the other Monticchio dei Lombardi, Sant 'Angelo dei Lombardi, Torella dei Lombardi and Guardia Lombardi. The castle belonged to the Saraceno family for several centuries until the beginning of the 16th century. In 1534 it passed to Alfonso della Rosa, subsequently in 1550 or 1560 Torella and Girifalco were sold to Domizio Caracciolo. The members of the Caracciolo family were awarded the title of Princes of Torella which they held until the unification of Italy when, in 1889, Umberto I granted the title of Marquis of Candriano to Giuseppe Caracciolo. On his death it was inherited by his nephew Camillo Ruspoli. The latter died in 1940 and in 1959 the widow donated the structure to the Municipality which now uses it as a municipal seat and museum. Until 1862 Torella dei Lombardi was only called Torella, while "dei Lombardi" was added only after the unification of Italy, in order to avoid cases of homonymy and in memory of the fact that the foundation of the village took place between the X and the 11th century, under Lombard rule.
Bene ambientale architettonico: Architettura
Local stones and a wooden door were used for the construction of the Norman Tower. Its current structure is quadrangular and is about 12 meters high. Its base measures approx 16 mt. for 16 mt. From the quadrangular plan rises a structure, which has architectural elements of the Roman age, which should consist of about three floors, which originally were four and one of which has completely collapsed. The first was a warehouse and was later used as a stable, then a staircase led to the second floor, the main entrance to the tower, and probably two other floors followed, one of which completely collapsed.
Most likely, it is believed that the Army built the Norman tower.
XII century
Via San Giovanni e Paolo - Torella dei Lombardi (AV)
The Norman tower of girifalco is owned by the municipality of Torella dei Lombardi
Originally the tower was much higher, currently we can only see twelve meters of it. It cannot be visited inside, but many of the original features remain on the outside.
On the hill of Girifalco, surrounded by a wood of centuries-old Turkey oaks, stands a solitary but majestic quadrangular tower with thick walls. Built in the twelfth century, it has the typical characteristics of Norman military architecture, that is, a defensive element of the territory. Girifalco, the name derives from the German term geirfalk, meaning "very rapacious falcon", a clear reference to the wildlife present in the surrounding landscape. The Norman Tower of Girifalco carried out its defensive function until the first half of the fifteenth century, when it was heavily damaged by the earthquakes of 1456 and 1466. Following these cataclysmatic events, the entire village was abandoned, as evidenced by a diploma of the 1649, drawn up by Ferdinand I of Aragon, in which it was indicated as "destroyed and uninhabited land". Over the centuries, the Tower also underwent a change in its intended use, becoming a residence and, subsequently, a warehouse for agricultural tools: this required the construction of a door "off axis" with respect to the original entrance, located on the second level. It is considered as the oldest monument of Torella dei Lombardi, the medieval village of Girifalco would have aggregated around the tower, fortified by a castle of feudal property, of which however no trace remains today, it is believed due to the contiguity of a place of cult dedicated to the holy martyrs John and Paul, to whom today a small church is dedicated, located close to the Norman tower, and near which there is an ancient Pagan Ara, later Christianized. On the facade of the Church of Saints John and Paul, in fact, there is a Latin funeral inscription which testifies that in Roman times this place was already a place of worship and probably used as a place for burial. Later this place of worship, the necropolis, was replaced by a Christian cult and therefore became a place of cult burial for the populations who had now converted to Christianity.