History of Chieti

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History of Chieti

The ancient origins of the city of Chieti sink in the mists of time. According to legend, Achilles, the Greek hero, founded the centre. The civic coat of arms shows Achilles on horseback, holding a shield with his left hand, on which appear the four keys symbolising the city gates. The name Teate existed already in 1000 when the city became capital of the Marrucini family. A people of war, the Marrucini fought first against Rome and then, after a great peace, they allied themselves with the Romans against Pirro, Hannibal and also against Perseus king of Macedonia.


comune di ChietiThe Marruccini people named the main course of the city, the beautiful Corso Marruccino. In Roman times dates back to the first organic urban planning, the route, various temples, the theatre, the amphitheatre and a grandiose cistern with adjoining thermal baths. In the middle of the empire, it became a town hall and was enriched with numerous monuments. At the end of the Empire it was subjected to the siege of the barbarians. From that moment on, a phase of decline began, which ended with the siege of Pipino (801).


Her annexation to the Duchy of Spoleto led her to become the bulwark of the southern border of the Empire. It reached its maximum splendour with Carlo I, who designated it the capital of Abruzzo Citra, the territory to the right of the river Pescara. Although the rise of the city of L' Aquila limited its fame, in the fifteenth century it became a metropolis of Abruzzo, with the right to beat its own currency, as an archiepiscopal seat.

In the 17th and 18th century it was reaffirmed as a cultural centre for the presence of the Scolopi and the archaic shepherds of the Tegea colony. In the 17th century, the city took on its present appearance thanks above all to the architectural works erected by the Church.


The arrival in Chieti of the Scolopi and Jesuits led to the rebirth of the colleges, important centers of study and diffusion of culture. The presence of the Marquis Romualdo de Sterlich, promoter of the Enlightenment culture, was important. Born in Chieti De Sterlich, he was one of the first Italians to read and comment on the works of Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire and other European Enlightenmentists. Thanks also to his writings and letters, it has been possible to outline the approach to the Enlightenment of our Italy.

In the Italian Risorgimento Chieti actively fought for the unity and independence of Italy. After the two World Wars, the city has seen its inhabited area expand considerably both in the upper and lower parts of the city, the Scalo. Numerous structures of public utility have been built, such as the Civil Hospital and the Sanatorium and the Free University "G. D' Annunzio"was born.




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