You can see the shape of the Castle from three main elements still identifiable in the piles of masonry, reduced to ruins by the earthquake. At the centre of the building emerges a ruined block that was probably the primitive stronghold, the ancient keep, which some believe to be Roman and which was built on the rock of the highest part of the hill at 890 m. It contains a pair of rectangular rooms with barrel vaults, connected to each other and to the outside through a door. Around the keep is a quadrangular court of about 25 x 30 m in an enclosure, surrounded by curtain walls made of large, partly irregular blocks, which are reinforced at the four corners with large towers, likewise quadrilateral and with average sides of about 7 m and a maximum height of 12 m. It was constructed by the Lombards in the middle of the 9th century, when there was a territorial division between the princes Radelchi and Siconolfo. Finally, extra-moenia at the north-east corner, stands the 18th-century Church of San Michele Arcangelo (Saint Michael the Archangel), which was already present in the form of a chapel in the middle of the 16th century. The worship of the archangel was introduced to this area by the Lombards. As for the construction chronology of the Castle and the Church, it is sufficient to add that the enclosure was improved several times during the centuries following the 9th century, by the different feudal and local lords who came into possession of it. For example, in 1556, the Prince of Stigliano, Luigi Carafa, bought the town of Volturara in its entirety and with it the Castle of San Michele, which he took care of to embellish with a chapel dedicated to the warrior saint. Several earthquakes in 1561, 1688, and 1694 resulted in very serious damage to the complex, until on 3 May, 1734, the bishop of Montemarano Mons. Ghirardi appointed Archpriest Nicola Pennetti to bless and open the new church. The small space of San Michele was set evocatively on the outside of the eastern side of the Castle. All that can be seen of it today is the skeleton. The earthquake on 23 November, 1980, destroyed what was left of the fortress and much of the Church.
Ruderi del castello di San Michele
VWF8+R2 Volturara Irpina, Provincia di Avellino