Garigliano River
The Garigliano is a river
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

 in central Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...


It forms at the confluence of the rivers Gari (also known as the Rapido) and Liri
The Liri is one of the principal rivers of central Italy, flowing into the Tyrrhenian Sea a little below Minturno under the name Garigliano....

. Garigliano is actually a deformation of "Gari-Lirano" (which in Italian means something like "Gari from the Liri"). In ancient times the whole course of the Liri and Gagliano was known as the Liris.

For the most part of its 40 km (24.9 mi) length, the Garigliano River marks the border between the Italian regions of Lazio and Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

. In medieval times, the river (then known as the Verde) marked the southern border of the Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...


Historical significance

In the ninth and early tenth centuries, a band of Arabs established themselves on the banks of the Garigliano from which they launched frequent raids on Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

 and central Italy. In 915
Year 915 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar.- Europe :* Battle of Garigliano: The Christian League defeats the Saracens.* Berengar I of Italy is crowned Holy Roman Emperor....

 a coalition of the pope
Pope John X
Pope John X, Pope from March 914 to May 928, was deacon at Bologna when he attracted the attention of Theodora, the wife of Theophylact, Count of Tusculum, the most powerful noble in Rome, through whose influence he was elevated first to the see of Bologna and then to the archbishopric of...

, the Byzantines
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

, Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

, and Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 defeated the Garigliano Arabs in the Battle of Garigliano
Battle of Garigliano
The Battle of Garigliano was fought in 915 between the forces of the Christian League and the Saracens. Pope John X personally led the Christian forces into battle.-Background:...


In 1503 the River was the site of a battle
Battle of Garigliano (1503)
The Battle of Garigliano was fought on December 29, 1503 between a Spanish army under Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba and a French army commanded by Ludovico II, Marquis of Saluzzo.-Preliminary phase:...

 between Spanish and French forces, in which Piero II de' Medici was drowned, passing control of the Medici family to Giovanni de' Medici
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

, later Pope Leo X. It is reported that the French knight Pierre Terrail, seigneur de Bayard
Pierre Terrail, seigneur de Bayard
Pierre Terrail LeVieux, seigneur de Bayard was a French soldier, generally known as the Chevalier de Bayard. Throughout the centuries since his death, he has been known as "the knight without fear and beyond reproach"...

 single-handedly defended the bridge against 200 Spaniards.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the Liri-Gari-Garigliano rivers were at the centre of a system of German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 defensive lines (the most famous of which is the Gustav Line) around which the battle of Monte Cassino
Battle of Monte Cassino
The Battle of Monte Cassino was a costly series of four battles during World War II, fought by the Allies against Germans and Italians with the intention of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome.In the beginning of 1944, the western half of the Winter Line was being anchored by Germans...

 took place in 1943-44. It is rumoured that the water of the river in the Cassino area, during the famous battle, became red because of the blood of the many corpses of soldiers.

Nuclear power plant

From 1959 until 1982 there has been a BWR
Boiling water reactor
The boiling water reactor is a type of light water nuclear reactor used for the generation of electrical power. It is the second most common type of electricity-generating nuclear reactor after the pressurized water reactor , also a type of light water nuclear reactor...

 nuclear power plant
Nuclear power in Italy
Nuclear power in Italy is a controversial topic. Nuclear power was used until the Italian nuclear power referendum closed all plants by 1990, a decision which was reversed in 2008...

 named Garigliano near the town Sessa Aurunca
Sessa Aurunca
Sessa Aurunca is a town and comune of Campania, Italy, in the province of Caserta. It located on the south west slope of the extinct volcano of Roccamonfina, 40 km by rail west north west of Caserta and 30 km east of Formia....


See also

  • Gustav Line
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