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A look at Tursi

Cathedral of Annunziata







The village of Tursi (Turse in tursitano dialect, Thyrsoi Θυρσοί, in Greek, Tursium in Latin) is a medieval center of the V century approximately, in Basilicata. Born originally around the castle and subsequently developed into the valley below assuming a singular elongated shape. The inhabited center is divided for the most part by the torrent Pescogrosso, which takes its name from the huge boulders found along its course and opens as tributary in the river Sinni. There are several sources that seek to explain the derivation of the word "Tursi". The most accredited say it comes from the name of the person, "Turcico", a man of arms of Byzantine origins, owner of the area, which expanded toward the valley the ancient borgo Saraceno, "Rabatana", giving the new zone name Tursikon Tursicon or. The Rabatana was the first inhabited nucleus of Tursi, and is literally surrounded on each side by deep and inaccessible gullies. Around the half of the V century the Goths built the castle, around which rose the first stone houses and constituted the nucleus of primordial Tursi, which grew after the depopulation of Anglona (now fraction of Tursi).

Archaeological excavations carried out in Basilicata, near Anglona and near Policoro, have brought to light numerous works currently kept in the National Archaeological Museum of Siritide, ascertaining the existence of settlements dating back to the 3000 B.C. the inhabitants of these areas were called Enotri, in particular however the inhabitants of the area between the rivers Sinni and Agri, were called cones. Since the VIII century B.C., on the Ionic coast, by the hand of the Greeks from Ionia, were founded the city of Siris, Heraclea, Metaponto and Pandosia. Siris is believed founded at the beginning of the VII century B.C. by the peoples of the Epirus, destroyed from Sibari and Crotone in the VI century B.C., from its ruins rose Heraclea between 443 b.c. and 430 B.C. in the IX century the city is mentioned under the name of Polychorium and in 1126 in an act of donation to the monastery of coal, it displays the current name of Policoro. Pandosia, that bordered with Heraclea, is considered the most ancient pagan city of Siritide. Founded of Enotri before 1000 b.C., was very rich and important thanks to the fertility of the soil and the strategic location. Until the middle of the XIX century was a center populated and important, guardian of traditions and the thruster of culture. The Rabatana became a tourist destination especially for track of the poet Albino Pierro, which has made the Rabatana the source of inspiration of his poetry. In Rabatana you can retrace the narrow streets of the ruins of the primordial core and visit the remains of the ancient houses, often only one compartment on the ground floor. Pandosia was destroyed between the 81 BC and 72 BC by Lucius Cornelius Silla Roman general. From the ruins of Pandosia arose, shortly before the Christian era, Anglona town once flourishing. In 410 the Visigoths of Alaric I sacked and semidistrussero Anglona. To check the surrounding territory built a castle on a hill halfway between the Agri and Sinni rivers. The surviving residents of the city of Anglona took refuge around the castle giving rise to Rabatana, first village populated by Tursi. In the IX century, around 826, there was an incursion of the Saracens, coming from Africa. In 850 the same succeeded in conquering a large part of the plain metapontina, including the Rabatana. Lived in the nascent Borgo, the enlarged and were precisely them to give him the name in remembrance of their village Rabhàdi Arabic. The saracen impression is very present in the constructions in the usages and customs of Rabatana. In 890 the Byzantines reconquered territories that once belonged to the Roman Empire of the West, banishing definitively the Arab stamp from the lands lucane. Under the Byzantines there was a significant development, demographic is that building and the village began to extend toward the valley below, the entire center was called Tursikon Tursicon or, by its founder Turcico. Toward the end of the X century emperor Basilius I is first the Thema of Langobardia and the Thema of Calabria and subsequently, in 968 was also created the thema of Lucania which had as its chief town Tursikon during those same years he also became the seat of the diocese with the Episcopal Cathedral at the church of San Michele Arcangelo, where in 1060 took place the Synod of Bishops. After the year One Thousand a large migration of the Normans, in the robes of pilgrims going to the holy places of Christianity, or in the robes of Mercenaries ready to fight for a piece of land, came soon in southern Italy. Was it easy to fit in the internal struggles between the Longobards and Byzantines, obtaining soon lands and benefits. The Normans contributed significantly to the growth of the city, just as they did subsequently before the Swabians and then the Angevins.

After the final destruction of Anglona, was spared only the sanctuary, in 1400 the remaining citizens took refuge in the flourishing Tursi. In the sixteenth century Tursi had now over 10,000 inhabitants and 40 Doctors in Law and in 1543 were joined the diocese of Anglona and that of Tursi constituting the diocese of Anglona-Tursi, which by 1546 had the chair to Tursi. In 1552 Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire gave the admiral and statesman Andrea Doria the Principality of Melfi. In 1656 the plague invaded the streets of Tursi and those of neighboring countries, the population is dramatically reduced due to emigration. In 1769 the Doria lost the lands that were purchased by the noble families of Donnaperna, Picolla, Panevino, Camerino and Brancalasso.

The village of Tursi has a predominantly agricultural economy, diffusissime are the cultivation of citrus fruits and fruit trees. Renowned are the oranges of Tursi the partajall or "Portugal", imported around the year one thousand by the Saracens, have suffered in the course of the years, a sort of genetic modification natural that has made them unique in their kind.

Municipality of Tursi
province of Matera
Region Basilicata

Inhabitants: 5.037
Altitude center: 210 m a.s.l.

The Municipality is part of:
Borghi Autentici d' Italia

Municipality of Tursi
Viale Del Municipio - 75028 Tursi (MT)
Tel. 0835-531111

The village of Tursi offers honorary citizenship to the philosopher Daisaku Ikeda

"A great man precious to the world, Tursi becomes part of the world, we will be messengers of peace" - Salvatore Cosma

Next or present Events

  • umnn uàrie, bonfire of San Giuseppe
    Religious occurrences

    Add to calendar 2019-03-18 2019-03-18 Europe/Rome umnn uàrie, bonfire of San Giuseppe It is a tradition to burn the frasche, collected between the fields during the pruning, creating whatì great bonfire. Tursi

    It is a tradition to burn the frasche, collected between the fields during the pruning, creating whatì great bonfire.

  • Procession of Our Lady of Anglona
    Religious occurrences

    Add to calendar 2019-04-28 2019-04-28 Europe/Rome Procession of Our Lady of Anglona The eighteenth-century statue depicting the Madonna is carried shoulder for a path of more than 10 km, from the Shrine of Aglona to the cathedral of the Annunziata Tursi. Tursi

    The eighteenth-century statue depicting the Madonna is carried shoulder for a path of more than 10 km, from the Shrine of Aglona to the cathedral of the Annunziata Tursi.

  • San Filippo Neri
    Patronal parties

    Add to calendar 2019-05-26 2019-05-26 Europe/Rome San Filippo Neri Tursi

  • Feast of Our Lady of Anglona
    Religious occurrences

    Add to calendar 2019-09-08 2019-09-08 Europe/Rome Feast of Our Lady of Anglona Tursi

Past Events

  • 13-04-2018

Other Events

  • Christmas period - Living Crib among the alleyways of the hamlet of Rabatana.