A journey through rock art, archeology, medieval castles and nature
Located on the territories of the municipalities of Grosio and Grosotto, in the Media Valtellina, the Rock Engravings Park is the most important example of the presence of prehistoric populations in the Valtellina. Outstanding is the Rupe Magna, a large rock that contains more than 5.000 engraved figures from the 4th to the 1st millennium B.C. Next to the two castles, the Castello Vecchio (Old Castle) and the Castello Nuovo (New Castle), even a system of dry-stone terraces, how it is typically for the Valtellina, is surrounding the Castle Hill.
The Rupe Magna was discovered in 1966 and is one of the largest engraved rocks in the Alpine range with more than 5.000 figures, dated into the late Neolithic Period (4th-3rd millennium B.C.) to the Bronze Age and the Iron Age (1st millennium B.C.). There are numerous themes represented on the Rupe Magna: geometric figures, anthropomorphic figures in a praying position, armed warriors and animals. Still a mystery are the numerous cup-marks (“Coppelle”)
The Castle Hill is dominated by two
castles. The Old Castle (Castello
San Faustino) was mentioned the first time in a written document in the
year of 1150 as "Castrum Groxi“, but archaeological results indicate the
construction already for the end of the 10th century. The dominating
church spire from Romanesque Period was partly restructured at the end of the
19th century. The first construction-phase of the corresponding
small church is dated by archaeological results already into the 7th
or 8th century. Most probably built to cover the two medieval tombs
cut directly into the rock.
The New Castle (Castello Nuovo) was built between 1350 and 1375 by the famous family Visconti, the lords of Milano. Erected as a stronghold it was perfectly adapted to the strategic needs of the 14th century. It had a double defensive wall, a moat and a solid keep (donjon) in the inner courtyard.
The slopes of the Dosso dei Castelli represent an example of the local
tradition in Valtellina to build systems of dry-stonewall terraces
for growing wine. The terraces of the Castle Hill of Grosio were most likely
built after 1200.
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