|Location:||2.5km north of Guardia Sanframondi.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.|
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|Last update:||$Date: 2015/08/30 21:56:07 $|
|700||cave turned into a place of worship to St. Michael.|
|1493||cave church was mentioned.|
|1524||Bishop Biagio Caropipe was buried in the cave church.|
|1542||Universitas of Cerreto held their meetings in the chapel or in front of it.|
|1882||excavation revealed bronze Age remains.|
|1896||excavation by the anthropologist Abele de Blasio.|
The Morgia Sant'Angelo is a rock formation with a really weird form looking like a lion, at least from one side. It is also called Leonessa (lioness). The rock is a glacial erratic, is a piece of rock which was carried by glacial ice over sometimes enormus distances and thus differs from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests now. It is also the biggest glacial erratic on the Italian mainland. This area has numerous such erratics which are called morgia by the locals, nearby is the Ripe del Corvo (Chasm of the Raven).
In the rock below the erratic is a small cave which constists of a single horizontal passage. The extraordinary place was the place of human settlement since the stone age. It was excavated at the end of the 19th century. The main discovery of the 1882 excavation was a coffin made of slabs of gray tuff which contained a bronze spear. A second excavation in 1896 by the anthropologist Abele de Blasio revealed stone age remains like flint spearheads, scrapers, and bones of Bos taurus, of Ovis aries and Sus scrofa.
During the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning Iron Age, which means in pre-Roman timess, the area was inhabited by the Sanniti. They utilized the rock as an outlook, which was strategiclly important and offered a great view, several sources of water nearby and shelter in case of bad weather inside the cave.
Around 700 the langobards turned the cave into a place of worship to St. Michael the Archangel. The worship continued over centuries, in 1493 the cave church was mentioned and it was told that monks and priests visited the cave. It became even more important in 1524 when the Bishop Biagio Caropipe was buried in the cave church as he had wished. From 1542 the Universitas of Cerreto held their meetings in the chapel or in front of it. At this time the cave was guarded by hermit. The tomb of Monsignore Caropipe was relocated to the sanctuary of the cathedral of Cerreto Sannita in 1783. It seems the cave was popular at this time, that it was deemed unfit as a burial place.
The church was renovated in 2000 by the commune. It is now clossed by a massive iron bar gate. As it is advertised on various websites as a local tourist sight we guess there are open hours or at least the possibility to make an appointment. Unfortunately we could not find anything on the web.
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