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Bernalda, Province of Matera, Basilicata

Province of Matera
Bernalda rises on a plateau in the final part of Val Basento, on the border with the province of Taranto. Its territory is included between estuaries of the Bradano river to the east and the Basento to the west, near the remains of the ancient Achaean colony of Metaponto.

Provinces of Basilicata

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Info

  • Altitude: 127 m s.l.m.
  • Population: about 12,400 inhabitants in 2017
  • Zip/postal code: 75012
  • Phone Area Code: 0835
  • Patron Saint: St. Bernardino from Siena, celebrated on 20 May.
  • Frazioni & Localities: Metaponto, Metaponto Lido, Serramarina, Spineto.

History

Towards the end of the III century B.C. the city of Metaponto was sacked and completely destroyed by the Romans. A part of its inhabitants moved onto the hill between the current church of San Donato and the Madonna degli Angeli, where they gave rise to a settlement, whose name is mentioned in 1099 as Camarda. Subsequently, in the year 1180, the fief of Camarda was assigned to Riccardo and in 1350 to Bertrando del Balzo, count of Montescaglioso.

The name Bernalda dates back to 1497 when, on the ruins of the ancient city of Camarda, the secretary of King Alfonso II of Aragon, one Bernardino de Bernaudo, decided to move the village of Camarda to the Castle area, and the new center took from him the name of Bernalda.

Where to stay

What to see

  • Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Metaponto
  • The ruins of Metaponto founded, according to tradition, around the middle of the 8th c. bc by Nestor, king of Pylos. An important city during the war with Carthage, it was sacked and razed to the ground by Spartacus, and was gradually abandoned as a result. It was rediscovered by travellers in the 18th century, and became an area of intense excavation in the 20th century, which led to it being turned into an archaeological heritage park.

    Excavations have unearthed walls, a dense grid of streets, colonnaded areas, and rich necropolises, the remains of the castrum and Roman town of Metapontum, and in the agorà three ancient temples dedicated to Apollo Licius, Hera and Athena, a theatre and an ekklesiasterion (Ancient Greek for assembly hall) dating from the 4th century BC. To the north is the well-preserved Doric temple known as the Palatine Tables (about 530 bc), possibly also dedicated to the Greek goddess Hera.

[the text is derived from Wikipedia and is subject to the GNU licence]