«Inexpugnabile est». Pierre D’Agincourt, il presidio di Ripa di Corno e la città di Leonessa

Author: Roberta Cerone

«Inexpugnabile est». Pierre d’Agincourt, the Stronghold of Ripa di Corno and the city of Leonessa

Thanks to the documents of the Angevin chancellery, dated from 1270 to 1284, it is possible to retrace the architectural history of the strong­hold of Ripa di Corno that still today surmounts the center of Leonessa (Rieti) and to reconstruct the genesis of this city.
Similar to what happens in the same years in Southern France, in fact, the Angevins established a series of universitates along the border of the Kingdom in order to guarantee the control and the loyalty of people to the royal authority and, at the same time, they enhanced the castles existing in that area since the Norman and Swabian period, as is the case of Ripa.
Today remains visible only the polygonal tower of the fortress, that is due to the initiative of the French architect Pierre d’Agincourt, man of confidence of King Charles II of Anjou and responsible for several other operations in Southern Italy. A survey of the surrounding terrain, however, has allowed to detect some traces of other buildings cited in detail in the king’s letters and to reconstruct the features of the castle, which was connected with two walls of the city below Gonexa/Leonessa in a triangular plan recorded in the views of the city from the 16th century.