The Castle of San Nicola de Thoro Plano sits on the summit of the hill that overlooks the districts of Accola and Carpineto. It was more than just a castle, it was a fortress, a bastion, a place of refuge for the population of the town below against Longobard and pirate attacks.
According to Cerasuoli, building began after the death of Sicardo, Longobard Duke of Benevento in 840 AD. Sicardo had devestated many of the towns and settlements on the Amalfi Coast.Work on the building developed round an existing church dedicated to San Nicola de Thoro Plano. The building underwent modifications by the Piccolimini Dukes, who in 1461 had been nominated as governors of the Duchy of Amalfi by Ferdinando I of Aragon.
The work started in 1465 and lasted until 1468 at a cost to the town of 6000 ducats. The fort enclosed an existing three aisle church, and the term Thoro Plano means a small hill placed against a taller elevation, Thorus Clivius, where the districts of Campo and Paie were situated.Inside the castle there were barracks, refuge for the population, cisterns and stores which guaranteed water and food supplies in case of invasion. The building preserves its original rectangular polygon shaped perimeter which is 550 metres long. The barrier walls are interspaced with nine round towers, which are eight metres high and five metres in diameter.References:
La Hougue Bie is a Neolithic ritual site which was in use around 3500 BC. Hougue is a Jèrriais/Norman language word meaning a \'mound\' and comes from the Old Norse word haugr. The site consists of 18.6m long passage chamber covered by a 12.2m high mound. The site was first excavated in 1925 by the Société Jersiaise. Fragments of twenty vase supports were found along with the scattered remains of at least eight individuals. Gravegoods, mostly pottery, were also present. At some time in the past, the site had evidently been entered and ransacked.
In Western Europe, it is one of the largest and best preserved passage graves and the most impressive and best preserved monument of Armorican Passage Grave group. Although they are termed \'passage graves\', they were ceremonial sites, whose function was more similar to churches or cathedrals, where burials were incidental.