The Spire of Sant’Oronzo is a column dedicated to Saint Orontius of Lecce, placed in the heart of Ostuni, between the main square of the city, Piazza della Libertà, and the small but beautiful square Piazza Sant’Oronzo.
Saint Orontius, a Christian martyr, is venerated by the Roman Catholic Church, being considered the first Bishop of Lecce. Each year, a three-day festival is held in Ostuni between August 25 and 27, in his honor.
The Spire of Sant’Oronzo was built in 1771 by the architect Giuseppe Greco. The column is an ex-voto strongly desired by the faithful to thank the Saint, who protected the city from the plague and the famine in the 18th century.
The spire is about 20 meters in height and was built in Baroque style. The testimony of perennial devotion to the protector of the city is quoted in Latin on epigraphic plates, supported by angels and placed on the first order of the column, on each of the four faces.
The next order is crowned by a beautiful balustrade, with four statues on its corners: San Biagio, Sant’Antonio da Padova, Sant’Irene and San Gregorio Armeno, all minor patrons of the city.
The successive orders tend to slowly narrow towards the apex, enriched with cherubs and cartouches. At the top, stands the statue of Sant’Oronzo in a blessing, delicately wrapped by the episcopal cloak.
According to a legend, the statue of Saint Orontius had once a breviary in his left hand, which he apparently threw at the citizens to punish them for the wickedness they committed.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Spire of Saint Orontius is located at the southern limit of the historical center of Ostuni, in Piazza della Libertà. The closest bus station is located in Via Giuseppe Pisanelli, about 300 meters away. To easily find the column on foot, use the map below.