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Guardia Piemontese
Guardia Piemontese
(Occitan: La Gàrdia) is a town and comune in the province of Cosenza
Cosenza
and the region of Calabria
Calabria
in southern Italy.

La Gàrdia and the other main cities of Occitania, in the Occitan language.

Contents

1 Location and language 2 History 3 Twin towns 4 Notes and references

Location and language[edit] Guardia Piemontese
Guardia Piemontese
is located about 55 km northwest of Cosenza
Cosenza
at the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its neighbouring municipalities are Acquappesa, Cetraro, Fuscaldo
Fuscaldo
and Mongrassano. Guardia is an Occitan linguistic enclave.[4] History[edit] The date of Guardia's foundation is unknown, and the name of the place has changed several times in history. "Guardia" means watch or lookout, and this name is probably related to a lookout tower built in the 11th century. Such lookout towers (Italian: torri costiere) were built to warn against Arab pirates, then called Saracens, ravaging the coast. Guardia used to be called Guardia Fiscaldi, after the powerful local feudal lords Fiscaldo/Fuscaldo, originating from Fuscaldo. After the settlement of Waldensian refugees who spoke the Occitan
Occitan
language, the place gained the name of Guardia dei Valdi. After their suppression, the name became Guardia Lombarda, which was changed to Guardia Piemontese
Guardia Piemontese
in 1863. During the 12th and 13th centuries, Waldensians
Waldensians
arrived in Calabria fleeing from the Inquisition
Inquisition
in the areas of Bobbio Pellice
Bobbio Pellice
and Torre Pellice, in what is now Piedmont. By 1315, they had settled in Montalto Uffugo, later also in San Sosti
San Sosti
dei Valdesi, Vacarizzo and San Vincenzo. The local feudal lords, the Spinelli, being lords of Fuscaldo, granted them refuge.[5] By 1375, they had also settled on the hill rising to 500 metres above sea level on which the upper town of Guardia now stands.[5] For a long period, the Waldensians
Waldensians
pretended to live as Roman Catholics, attending the Holy Mass
Holy Mass
and having their children baptised in Catholic churches. However, privately they stuck to their beliefs and received travelling Waldensian preachers for few days in intervals of about two years.[5] With the successes of the Reformation, many secret Waldensians
Waldensians
decided not to hide their true religious beliefs any longer.[6] In 1532, they decided at their Synod of Chanforan (in Piedmont) to confess their beliefs openly. Thereupon, Calabrese Waldensians
Waldensians
sent Marco Uscegli as an envoy to Geneva, with the request for preachers to be dispatched. In this way the preacher Gian Luigi Pascale came to Calabria, and he established Waldensian churches in Guardia Piemontese
Guardia Piemontese
and San Sosti.[7] The Waldensians
Waldensians
in their traditional areas in Piedmont
Piedmont
did the same, and in 1560 the locally powerful Bishop of Mondovì, Cardinal Michele Ghislieri (later to become Pope Pius V), initiated a crusade against the Waldensians.[8] The Calabrese Roman Catholic Abbot Giovan Antonio Anania informed Ghislieri that the Waldensians
Waldensians
in Calabria
Calabria
had meanwhile also adopted preachers of their own,[7] so Ghislieri ordered the abbot to eradicate the Waldensian heresy, in coordination with his local Archbishop of Cosenza, Taddeo Gaddi.[7] First, Anania tried to coerce the Waldensians
Waldensians
into converting by way of threats, but they refused. With a sense of foreboding, many Waldensians
Waldensians
from neighbouring places fled to Guardia, which was fortified.[7] Guardia's lord Salvatore Spinelli (c. 1506–1565) tried to make the Waldensians
Waldensians
relent and advised Pascale and Uscegli to flee, but in vain. Spinelli, who did not wish to be accused of favouring heretics, finally resorted to a trick.[7] In June 1561, he requested entry to the town for himself and fifty of his men, claiming that they would come unarmed. Loyal to their lord, the men of Guarda let them in. In the night of 4 to 5 June, Spinelli and his henchmen took out their hidden weapons and took the town by force. In doing so, and by further pogroms in the following two weeks, Spinelli and his henchmen murdered about 2,000 Waldensians
Waldensians
in Guardia Piemontese
Guardia Piemontese
and other places.[7] This bloodshed is commemorated by the name of the town's main gate, the Porta del Sangue, or Gate of Blood, because it was said that the blood of the murdered flowed all the way down to it.[7] Next to the town gate there is now the Centro di Cultura Giovan Luigi Pascale which contains a permanent exhibition on the history of the Waldensians
Waldensians
of Guardia.[7] The survivors of the massacre had to convert to Roman Catholicism, and marriages between a man and a woman both of Waldensian descent were forbidden.[7] Spioncini, spyholes to be opened from the outside, were to be built into the town's front doors, in order to allow inquisitors to spy into the houses and check whether the compulsory converts really abstain from Waldensian traditions.[9] Some spioncini can still be found in frontdoors. The Waldensian church was demolished. On its site, today's Piazza Chiesa Valdese, a piece of rock from Piedmont
Piedmont
has been put in 1975, donated by Guardia's twin city Torre Pellice
Torre Pellice
in memory of the descent of many Guardioti from the Piedmontese rocky Alps.[10] The names of 118 known victims of the 1561 massacre are listed in a plaque at the rock. In memory of the eradication of the Waldensian heresy, Salvatore Spinelli donated the Dominican church Chiesa del SS. Rosario in Guardia.[9] In April 1565 he was created Marchese
Marchese
of Fuscaldo
Fuscaldo
in honour of his deed.[11] Twin towns[edit]

Torre Pellice, Italy

Notes and references[edit]

^ 2011 Election Official Results Archived 21 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Data from Istat ^ All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute Istat. ^ Cf. Hans Peter Kunert, "Quale grafia per l’occitano di Guardia Piemontese?", in: Quaderni del Dipartimento di Linguistica 10, Univ. della Calabria, Serie Linguistica 4, 1993, 27–36; Kunert, "L’occitan en Calàbria", in: Estudis Occitans 16, 1994, 3–14; Kunert, "L’occitan en Calabre", in: RLR XCVIII, 1994, 477–489. ^ a b c Ilona Witten, Kalabrien, 2nd, updated ed., Cologne: DuMont, 22001, p. 58. ISBN 3-7701-5288-3. ^ Ilona Witten, Kalabrien, 2nd, updated ed., Cologne: DuMont, 22001, pp. 58seq. ISBN 3-7701-5288-3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ilona Witten, Kalabrien, 2nd, updated ed., Cologne: DuMont, 22001, p. 59. ISBN 3-7701-5288-3. ^ Anacleto Verrecchia, Giordano Bruno: la falena dello spirito, (Rome: Editore Donzelli, 2002, ISBN 88-7989-676-8), p. 43 ^ a b Ilona Witten, Kalabrien, 2nd, updated ed., Cologne: DuMont, 22001, p. 61. ISBN 3-7701-5288-3. ^ Ilona Witten, Kalabrien, 2nd, updated ed., Cologne: DuMont, 22001, pp. 60seq. ISBN 3-7701-5288-3. ^ Salvatore Spinelli Marchese
Marchese
di Fuscaldo
Fuscaldo
Archived 13 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine., retrieved on 8 April 2011.

v t e

Calabria
Calabria
· Comuni of the Province of Cosenza

Acquaformosa Acquappesa Acri Aiello Calabro Aieta Albidona Alessandria del Carretto Altilia Altomonte Amantea Amendolara Aprigliano Belmonte Calabro Belsito Belvedere Marittimo Bianchi Bisignano Bocchigliero Bonifati Buonvicino Calopezzati Caloveto Campana Canna Cariati Carolei Carpanzano Casali del Manco Cassano all'Ionio Castiglione Cosentino Castrolibero Castroregio Castrovillari Celico Cellara Cerchiara di Calabria Cerisano Cervicati Cerzeto Cetraro Civita Cleto Colosimi Corigliano-Rossano Cosenza Cropalati Crosia Diamante Dipignano Domanico Fagnano Castello Falconara Albanese Figline Vegliaturo Firmo Fiumefreddo Bruzio Francavilla Marittima Frascineto Fuscaldo Grimaldi Grisolia Guardia Piemontese Lago Laino Borgo Laino Castello Lappano Lattarico Longobardi Longobucco Lungro Luzzi Maierà Malito Malvito Mandatoriccio Mangone Marano Marchesato Marano Principato Marzi Mendicino Mongrassano Montalto Uffugo Montegiordano Morano Calabro Mormanno Mottafollone Nocara Oriolo Orsomarso Paludi Panettieri Paola Papasidero Parenti Paterno Calabro Pedivigliano Piane Crati Pietrafitta Pietrapaola Plataci Praia a Mare Rende Rocca Imperiale Roggiano Gravina Rogliano Rose Roseto Capo Spulico Rota Greca Rovito San Basile San Benedetto Ullano San Cosmo Albanese San Demetrio Corone San Donato di Ninea San Fili San Giorgio Albanese San Giovanni in Fiore San Lorenzo Bellizzi San Lorenzo del Vallo San Lucido San Marco Argentano San Martino di Finita San Nicola Arcella San Pietro in Amantea San Pietro in Guarano San Sosti San Vincenzo La Costa Sangineto Sant'Agata di Esaro Santa Caterina Albanese Santa Domenica Talao Santa Maria del Cedro Santa Sofia d'Epiro Santo Stefano di Rogliano Saracena Scala Coeli Scalea Scigliano Serra d'Aiello Spezzano Albanese Spezzano della Sila Tarsia Terranova da Sibari Terravecchia Torano Castello Tortora Trebisacce Vaccarizzo Albanese Verbicaro Villapiana Zumpano

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