#LAquila (meaning "The #Eagle") is a city and #comune in #SouthernItaly, both the capital city of the #Abruzzo region and of the Province of L'Aquila. Laid out within #medieval #wallson a hill in the wide valley of the #Aterno river, it is surrounded by the #apennineMountains, with the #GranSasso d'Italia to the north-east.
The city's construction was begun by #FrederickII, #holyromanemperorand King of Sicily, out of several already existing #villages (ninety-nine, according to local #tradition), as a bulwark against the power of the papacy. The name of Aquila means "Eagle" in #Italian. Construction was completed in 1254 under Frederick's son, #ConradIV of Germany. The name was switched to Aquila degli Abruzzi in 1861, and L'Aquila in 1939. After the death of Conrad, the city was destroyed by his brother Manfred in 1259, but soon rebuilt by Charles I of Anjou, its successor as king of Sicily. The walls were completed in 1316.
It quickly became the second city of the #kingdomof #Naples. It was an autonomous city, ruled by a diarchy composed of the City Council (which had varying names and composition over the centuries) and the King's Captain. It fell initially under the lordship of Niccolò dell'Isola, appointed by the people as the People's #Knight, but he was then killed when he became a tyrant. Later, it fell under Pietro "Lalle" Camponeschi, Count of #Montorio, who became the third side of a new triarchy, with the Council and the King's Captain. Camponeschi, who was also Great Chancellor of the kingdom of Naples, became too powerful, and was killed by order of Prince Louis of Taranto. His descendants fought with the Pretatti family for power for several generations, but never again attained the power of their ancestor. The last, and the one true "lord" of L'Aquila, was Ludovico Franchi, who challenged the power of the pope by giving refuge to Alfonso I d'Este, former duke of Ferrara, and the children of Giampaolo Baglioni, deposed lord of Perugia. In the end, however, the Aquilans had him deposed and imprisoned by the king of Naples.