Longobucco

LONGOBUCCO-Veduta-del-centro-storico-(1)

Mountain

This village is located in the heart of the “Greek” Sila. It is renowned for blanket and rug weaving following the traditional working techniques. The ancient hamlet has a medieval layout. Oral tradition has it that the name Longobucco is etymologically related to the German word Longburg, meaning far, long hamlet. According to Giovanni Alessio, the name would derive from longa bucca corresponding to the translation of the Byzantine word makroilos (having a long cavity). The history of the village strongly depended on silver mines. Many scholars, as Pontano, Francesco Maria Labonia (17th century) and Tommaso Bartoli (19th century), identified Longobucco with Temesa or Tempsa, an ancient mining town, cited by Homer in the first book of his Odyssey. Historical evidence reports that silver employed for mintage among Sybarites and Crotonians during Magna Graecia Age came from Longobucco mines. 

The first documents concerning the Argentera (this is the popular name of local silver mines) date to the 11th century. In 1197 the Emperor Henry VI sent Pietro di Livonia, one of his family members, to “Longoburgi” to control silver mining. During the Anjou period, mining developed. Joachim of Fiore too went to Longobucco to buy some silver wrought chalices. During the Aragon rule, the mines, that were considered the most important ones in the kingdom, were granted to Galeazzo Caracciolo from Naples. In 1566 Argentera was again under the jurisdiction of the Royal Court. In the second half of the 17th century, Longobucco mines began to decline: production costs overcame the profit. At the beginning of the 18th century, a group of German miners reopened the mines, and they were active till 1783. The town was included in the Canton of Cirò, Crati Department under the administrative rules by General Championnet (1799). Under the French regulations dated January 19th 1807, May 4th 1811 and may 1st 1816, Longobucco was one of the Government seats. Baron Compagna, in 1826, tried to recover the silver resources of the town, but two years later he had to give up due to very high working costs.

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Ultimo aggiornamento: Dec 27, 2023 4:14 PM