Castlegrande is a beautiful village of ancient buildings placed in the north-western periphery of the Basilicata Region, on the slopes of the Appennino Lucano Mountains, near the borders of the Campania. The landscape, for its own characteristics, is extremely evocative. A careful visitor can look at the natural beauties and can admire many angles of extreme suggestion due to the varieties of the vegetation and to the immediate variation of the altitude. Many valleys are alternated to woods, in a landscape changing from seven hundred meters to one thousand two hundred meters. The presence of small rivers and a remarkable amount of local game and migratory birds calls every year a great number of hunters.
In the place call ed Toppo of Castelgrande there is the largest astronomical observatory in all of Europe. The place was chosen because of a pure and uncontaminated environment, which allows the astronomers to have an unobstructed view of the galaxy.
The observatory is managed by the Osservatorio of Capodimonte (Naples).
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The origins of the name "Castelgrande" go back to the gothic period, when its name was "Castrum Grandinis" (Castle of the hail). In other ancient documents the village was called "Castrum de Grandis" (Castle of the De' Grandi's family), and really some members of the De' Grandi Family were Lords of the country.
In the Vatican Museums, in the Geographic Papers Gallery, there are the Italian regions at the end of 1500's. In the Lucania Region, just in front of my eyes, I found "C. de Grandine" (Hail Castle).
In 1647 in Castlegrande there were some Motions against the Spanish invaders.
On the top of the country there are some old remains of a Castle. All around the village there were some walls with doors that were closed in case of enemy attacks.
In this picture of G. Musella there is the St. John Door, the only one remained in Castlegrande
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