Consortium for the protection of the historical castles of Friuli Venezia Giulia
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Chiesa Fortificata di San Giovanni d'Antro (Pulfero)

Inaccessibly located half-way up the side of a mountain, overlooking the River Natisone, the chapel of San Giovanni d’Antro is a rare example of fortified church. It was built at the end of the 14th century at the entrance of a cave, which served as a natural protection for the local people. The cave was originally used as a Roman fort, guarding the Italian border, then as a Lombard garrison; before the 8th century it was consecrated to the Christian faith. An inscription from the beginning of the 10th century reveals that it was used as the burial ground of a man, probably the deacon to whom Berengarius I had granted the use of the chapel in March 888. The chapel was part of a larger fortified complex, including also the castle of San Giovanni d’Antro that was located lower down the hill. The castle, mentioned by numerous historical documents, has now completely disappeared.