The Cathedral of Ostuni, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, is a beautiful church located on the highest hill of the city, right in the middle of the old town, in Piazza Beato Giovanni Paolo II. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, built in the 15th century, was declared a national monument in 1902.
Between 1228 and 1229, Frederick II of Swabia built here a Romanesque church, on the ruins of an Orthodox church erected prior to the year 1000.
The construction of the Cathedral began after the earthquake of 1456, during the Episcopate of Nicola Arpone, and was completed in 1495.
The church was radically transformed twice: in 1750, by the will of the Bishop Francesco Antonio Scoppa, and in 1898, on the behest of the Bishop Salvatore Palmieri.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The facade of the church, facing west, with Gothic elements, is divided into three parts by thin pilasters. The facade has its fulcrum in the large central rosette, in which the Christ is surrounded by seven cherubs.
On the lunettes of the side entrances are the bas-reliefs of San Giovanni Battista, on the right, and of San Biagio, on the left. On the lunnette above the main portal, there is a Madonna with Child.
The church has a Latin cross plan with three naves, delimited by columns with embelished capitals. On the ceiling of the transept, we can find the paintings of The Preaching of St. Horace, Jesus Healing a Paralytic at the Pool and The Martyrdom of St. Biagio. On the ceiling of the naves, there are other beautiful paintings comissioned at the beginning of the 18th century by the Bishop Bisanzio Filo.
Inside, proceeding from the left, there are the baptismal font in marble, the altars of the Sacred Heart and of San Gaetano da Thiene, with a canvas dated 1773 by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro, the 19th-century Chapel of the Immaculate, the papier-mache statue of St. Agnes made by Raffaele Caretta, and a wooden altar, in which we can find the busts of the Saints Oronzo, Biagio and Agostino.
On the high altar, there is the canvas of the Assumption, and in the right aisle is the 19th-century Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and the altars of the Holy Family.
On the antechamber, in a niche, there is a large statue of Christ, surrounded by six cherubs, dating back to the late 15th century and belonging to the Chapel of the Martucci family. Of great value are the eight paintings housed in the sacristy, on the ceiling of which is a parietal painting having the Nativity subject, dating back to the 16th-17th centuries.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is located in the heart of the historical center of the city, in Piazza Beato Giovanni Paolo II. To find it easily on foot, use the map below.