The Episcopate, albeit indirectly, took shape in 1464, when the Municipality of Campagna, in the space now occupied by it, ordered the works for the building of the primordial city hospital.
Decision that was a pioneer for a sad event that occurred with the outbreak of the plague between 1520 and 1525, Campagna had to deal with this terrible disease, an episode that caused many deaths and many problems for our community.
As soon as it ended, the noble Bernalla family wanted to build a church at their own expense dedicated to Santa Sofia, who has always been invoked against contagious diseases, a church which however soon found its terminus due to the violent earthquake that shook the city on 31 July 1561, in following this event, on 22 August 1624, the Bernalla heirs asked and obtained from the clergy the right to be able to demolish the temple, which had been abandoned for too many years, with the obligation to move the deceased who were resting under the structure to the city cemetery located under the church of Monte dei Morti.
In its place was built the palace of the noble Cozzi family.
In 1626 the building of what was the primitive hospital was granted by the Municipality to the Curia, in order to be converted into an Episcope to further entice the bishops of our diocese to reside on a permanent basis in Campagna, something which at first was always reluctant to prelates, who preferred to stay in other environments, outside the town of Campagna, such as that of Santa Angelo le Fratte.
An example above all was when, on July 9, 1657, the great Iberian bishop Juan Caramuel, he chose precisely that destination because he had found our city and his residence in a very bad state, but in reality it was learned later that he refused the accommodation reserved for him because our city had not yet definitively come out of the new plague epidemic that pervaded those years.
But ironically, Caramuel himself was the main architect of the new vigor that the building needed. A few years later, the local situation having improved a lot, he decided to take up permanent residence in Campagna and among the many excellent things he accomplished in those years, one of these was to transfer and strengthen the typography established a century earlier by
Filiuli and from De Nigris from today's Palazzo Tercasio< /a> at the Episcopate, to print his magnificent works, some masterful such as the “Mathesis Bycepts”.
Unfortunately, however, the structure was marked by a new earthquake on August 28, 1694, which compromised its safety and functions for a few years.
Restructuring works, this time of a technical nature and due to carelessness, were also necessary in 1823, when Bishop Lupoli had to make a serious effort to avoid its collapse.
A curious episode, due to the nature of the building, occurred on July 30, 1849, when some people from Campagna were tried in the structure for having supported, promoted, praised and hidden the "Tree of Liberty", symbol of Masaniello's Revolution.
It also maintained a procedural nature in the years ranging from 1863 to 1865, when the Army Officers engaged in the fight against the Brigands stayed in the Episcopate, who, after having interrogated the members of the local gangs, imprisoned them in the underground dungeons, formerly present at the time of Caramuel.
From 1917 however, with the bishop Cesarano, the Episcopate was no longer the seat of residence Episcopalian, transferred at the same time to the Seminary, a decision that lasted until 1961 with the arrival of Bishop Nuzzi, who decided to restore the residence to the original one.
At the outbreak of the Second World War and with the arrival of the first internees, the offices for the management of the internment camp of San Bartolomeo.
In 1955, thanks to the interest of Mons. Palatucci and thanks to Marshall Plan funds, the building benefited from maintenance and renovation works, which, most probably, together with those carried out after the 1980 earthquake, definitively consigned it to history for posterity. City.
Today the Episcopate has social and ecclesial functions under the care of the Pastoral Unit of the Historic Center of Campagna.

Text edited by Cristian Viglione.

Bibliography consulted:
• Valentino Izzo - Raccontare Campagna...La Fabbriche Religiose. - 2004
• Pergamene Salernitane - 1949


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