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Views of Ostana








Ostana (Ostan-a in Piedmont, Oustano in Occitan) has less than 100 inhabitants. It is located on the left bank of the Po and consists of a group of villages around Villa, the town hall with splendid views over Monviso. The most widespread interpretation would be Ostana derived from Augustana, referring to the month of "August" in the Occitan oust form. In this sense, a high-medieval origin of the name would probably be associated with transhumance practices that would deny the conviction of some that Ostana was dating back to Roman times and Augustus with particular reference to the gladium, the short sword of Roman legionaries right in the municipal coat of arms. A 1386 document speaks of an ecclesia sanctii Nicholay de Augustana, dependent on the Barge parish, as well as the community was subjected to the Lords of that place. From this it may be deduced that Ostana has for a long time been only a kind of Augustan pars of the Bargese territory, that is, an area for summer grazing. Its churches, especially that of St. Nicholas, placed in a panoramic position, already appear in citations of 1351. The territory of Ostana offers beautiful examples of alpine architecture.

Valley Po has been inhabited since ancient times since the year 1000 BC. In the centuries before Christ lived in all the Western Alps the Ligurian Montani also called Comates or scalp for their long hair, which were added after the 5th century. B.C. the Gauls or Celts. The Po Valley followed the fate of these populations, conquered by the Romans in the I century. B.C. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, northern Italy was subsequently occupied by several peoples, including the Lombards, who built the Pagno Monastery (750 AD), among other things. In the decades following they were defeated by the Franks of Charlemagne. In the 12th century Saluzzo began to become a marquisate with Manfredo I of the Vasto, linking to the sorti of the Po Valley. At that time, Ostana was not cited because it did not exist or was more or less likely to be of limited importance. It was cited in 1322 and then in 1330, cited in a ruling about a dispute between the Marquis of Saluzzo and the Monastery of Rifreddo for the decimals of the novals, namely the fields of recent cultivation of Paesana, Crissolo, Oncino and Ostana. The village of Ostana is called Austana and Ostana, while elsewhere is written in the same period, Aostana, Autana, Ottana, Hostana and Augustana. A very important period in the history of Ostana was the Signoria of Atzone Saluzzo, which in 1377 granted the exemption of any size and any personal taxation in its favor, with the exception of a wooden wagon to be transported every year to the castle on the day of Christmas, and the right to reunite in council once a year and to draft statutes. These were the main source of law elaborated and valid within a community, a kind of civil, administrative and criminal code drawn up by people commissioned by the community and subjected to the lord's approval of the site.

The Statutes of Ostana date back to 1425 and are composed and elaborated by men both "sapientes" and "ignorant" specially chosen for this task by the Municipality of Ostana. From the Statutes emerges a community governed by very simple rules, in which often sacred and profane were confused, and who lived predominantly in agriculture and sheep farming; the political authority that he had on the locum hostanae was made up of Gastaldus or the Rektor, who besides representing the public administration in the territory, had the fundamental task of administering justice and hence the punishment of corporal punishments that "ban" and "fine", depending on the severity of the violations. These were transgressions of the existing religious rules, such as the ban on administering Sunday justice and on holy days, but above all the norms that governed daily life, such as those for the delimitation of boundaries between the fields for tolls and servitudes, for aqueduct and grazing rights; much of the sanctioning provisions concerned the violation of the rules on the so-called "Banditus" or "Bannitus" Hostanae, or that part of the territory of Ostan in which it was forbidden to graze any kind of animal, ignite fires, cut wood, etc.

In 1490 a terrible plague caused the death of almost all inhabitants of Ostana and the tradition wants that on this occasion the Church of San Nicolao was used to Lazzaretto. Meanwhile, in the Po valley, the Valdese religion spread, which had as its main centers the places of Pratoguglielmo, Bioletto, Bietonnetto and Croesio and which came from Val Pellice, perhaps also affected the territory of Ostanese. It is probably this time that the name of Ruà Cristiano given to the township Bernardi remained faithful to Catholicism, as opposed to S. Antonio, for example, called "Jewish" by popular tradition. The persecution against the Valdesi, which had already been carried out in the previous period, grew in the early decades of the 1500s, above all by the Marquis of Saluzzo, Margherita di Foix, and continued until the Valdese presence in the valley was abolished in the middle of 1600. In the 1700, after the French Revolution, there were movements of troops of the Savoy and their allies on the borders of the Marchesato, in Val-Varaita and in Po valley, fear of an invasion of the French against whom a war was taking place 1792-1796).

On the territory of Ostana in 1830 there appeared to be no woods but there were scattered elms, ash, walnuts, plantains, oak and some wild cherry. The population was 627 inhabitants in 1810, 800 in 1826, and 909 in 1835; from all over the valley Po it was customary seasonal emigration for hemp hairstyle, for which approximately 240 men (shaking) departed from Ostana. The economy of the country was based on cattle and sheep breeding and the cultivation of small fertile fields for their exposure to the sun. With the construction of the Calcinere and Canal hydroelectric power plant in the years 1919-1922, electricity came to Ostana from the company that operated the power station in exchange for the use of the waters of the Tossier torrent: in this way the activity of the two Moulin dë Frò water junctions, while only in the '40s the electric light was spread in the fractions.

With the armistice of September 8, 1943, many dismembered soldiers returned to their homes, while the partisans brigaded on the mountains. The second post-war period saw the continuation of the migratory flow of the Ostanese population mainly towards the plain, a flow that had its peak in the 1950s and which continued though in a smaller percentage in the following years leading to the abolition of elementary school on 1 October 1972.

Municipality of Ostana
Province of Cuneo
Piedmont region

Population: 83
Altitude center: 1250 m s.l.m.

The Municipality is part of:
I Borghi più belli d'Italia
Borghi Sostenibili del Piemonte

Protected natural areas:
Parco Fluviale del Po (tratto Cuneese)

Municipality of Ostana
Piazza Caduti Per La Libertà 49 - Ostana (CN)
phone +39 0175-94915

Next or present Events

  • San Claudio
    Patronal parties

    Add to calendar 2018-06-06 2018-06-06 Europe/Rome San Claudio Ostana

Where to sleep

Rifugio Galaberna

Capolungo Villa, 18/A, Ostana (CN)

Where to eat

La Luna nel Pozzo

Piazza Italia 23 , Neive (CN)
73.35 Kilometers from Ostana

Where to shop

Massimo Rivetti Farm

Via Rivetti, 22, località Rivetti, Neive (CN)
74.32 Kilometers from Ostana

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