In 560 the Duchy of Benevento absorbed the Gargano where, from the 5th century onwards, the cult of the Saint Michael the Archangel had been established. It was popular with the Longobards who recognized in him the characteristics of Woden, pagan god of war and protector of heroes and warriors.
In the 7th century it became the national sanctuary of the Longobards. Devotion to Saint Michael spread throughout the West and Mount Sant’Angelo became a model for all the sanctuaries built in Europe, including that of the Normans at Mont-Saint-Michel.
The principal Longobard dynasties promoted restructuring work that facilitated access to the original cave and provided shelter for pilgrims, as attested by inscriptions at the site.