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Quart

Description

The name is of Roman origins and features a milestone indicating the distance of four miles from the regional capital: for Quartum lapidem. The town's territory is vast and divided between various villages scattered in the countryside but well connected one to each other. The presence of long daylight hours and numerous water sources make the land very fertile and suitable for cultivation. Dairy farming flourishes here with its Fontina, a very famous cheese, that derives from Alpe Fontin, a district of Quart. Fascinating excursions on mule tracks and footpaths that give access to the nearby valleys and shelters,like the route that connects the district of Villair to the Oratory of the Beato Emerico. Walking through a plain and up a steep slope it is possible to reach the medieval castle.
The discovery of Neolithic tombs in the area of Vollein allows us to state that the area was already inhabited in ancient times. The town's territory and the surrounding communities were conquered by the Romans. It subsequently became a feud that belonged to the powerful Family of Quart, whose origins are unknown, but were important in the history of the Val d'Aosta. Already Lords of the Porta of St. Orso in Aosta, today known as the Porta Pretoria, they resided in the tower located on the North side, near the main entrance gate, from where they controlled the access to the city and collected the tolls. They extended their dominion over a vast area, taking over one sixth part of the whole region. During their rule in 1200 Pierre de Quart built an aqueduct that connected the waters of Valpelline, up the hill to the castle. Jacques III promoted the development of Villefranche, main district and centre of the town, which became the seat of courts and a leading commercial center at the beginning of the XIV century. It became the administrative headquarters of the district of Quarto from the XIV to the XVI century, when the town was subjected to the power of Savoy. Even though the center was surrounded by fortified walls, it was badly damaged during the disputes of the XVII century. The subsequent history is common to the rest of Val d'Aosta and Italy.

Not to miss:
The castle, whose oldest part dates back to 1185, was built by Jacques de la Porte de Saint Ours, founder of the lords of Quart, and it is located on a rocky promontory overlooking the town. Surrounded by rocky cliffs, it is accessible only through a torrent. The building, surrounded by dense vegetation, stands out clearly against the background of the surrounding landscape with the candor of its high walls. It features turrets and mighty looking cylindrical watchtower. It became the residence of the Savoy between the XIV and the XVI century and then abandoned it was used as a farmhouse for about one hundred years. Still well preserved, the castle is each year the departure point of a historical carnival parade.
The Parish Church of St. Eusebius in Villair. The first witness of its existence dates back to 1150. The original building was destroyed by a flood in the early XV century, the present construction was built on the ruins of the previous one in the first half of the XV century, and radically refurbished in the late XVI and early XVII centuries, but preserves a Gothic tower, that has retained its original appearance.
The Monastery Mater Misericordiae, isolated in the green hills, is one of the itineraries of faith in Val d'Aosta. It preserves inside a wonderful relief, depicting the crucifixion, converted from a linden tree.
The Casaforte of the XV century and the Chapel of 1686 in the district of Villefranche.
The Guard Towers of Chetoz and Ville-sur-Nus.
The Casaforte of Povile, which developed around a tower belonging to the Lords of Quart, which was enlarged between the XIII and the XVII centuries.

Map

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