All SEE in Ostuni

Ostuni is known as the White City (Città Bianca), because of the bright white buildings which make up the old town. The city is a maze of streets, staircases, buildings and arches, and the best way to feel Ostuni is to get lost in it.

Besides the white surrounding wall, the most important attractions of the city are the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, built in Gothic style in the 15th century, the nearby Palazzo Vescovile and Palazzo del Seminario, joined by an elegant arched Loggia, the Church of San Francesco d’Assisi, the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grata, the Church of Santa Maria della Stella, the Church of Santa Maria del Monte Carmelo, the Spire of Sant’Oronzo, and the main square of the town, Piazza della Libertà.

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    Church of Santa Maria della Stella

    The Church of Santa Maria della Stella is a church in Ostuni, located in an interruption of the northern walls of the city.   SHORT HISTORY In the first half of the 16th century, a poor widow, mother of three girls, took care every day, for a month, of an image of the Madonna painted in a niche in the wall of the city, located near a small gate called Porticella. Her gesture was gratified daily by a gift she found in the niche, a coin and a loaf of bread. The place soon became a destination for pilgrimages, and it was decided to build a small chapel in which to place the image of the Virgin. The structure was named, at first, Santa Maria della Porticella. In the last decades of the 16th century, the structure was expanded, and the new church changed its name to Santa Maria della Stella (Saint Mary of the Star). The local bourgeoisie was responsible for the decoration of the interior and for the private chapels of the church. Probably damaged by the earthquake of 1743, despite some interventions made in 1812, the church was closed for worship in 1835 and soon collapsed. Between Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria del Monte Carmelo

    The Church of Santa Maria Vergine del Monte Carmelo, or shorter the Church of Carmine, is a beautiful church in Ostuni, located near the southeastern border of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY The Carmelite Convent in Ostuni, dedicated to Santa Maria della Misericordia, was built in the second half of the 15th century outside the city walls. The convent had a simple, square-shaped form, with a garden in the middle. The adjacent church was built between 1590 and 1593 by the master masons Nicola Francesco de Marseglia and Matteo de Molendinis, assuming the title of Santa Maria del Monte Carmelo. Around the middle of the 17th century, the church had twelve chapels decorated by wealthy citizens, but in 1775 the chapels were reduced to six, plus two minor ones. In the first half of the 18th century, some renovation works were carried out by the architect Giuseppe Fasano, especially in the presbytery area and in the side chapels. In 1810, following the suppression of the Carmelite order in the Kingdom of Naples, the church was entrusted to the care of the Carmine confraternity, active since the 16th century. In 1819, the Carmelites returned to their home Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

    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.   SHORT HISTORY 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. Read more [...]

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    Spire of Sant’Oronzo

    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.   SHORT HISTORY 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.   ARCHITECTURE 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. Read more [...]

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    Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grata

    The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grata is a small church that stands in a prominent position outside the historical center of Ostuni, surrounded by gardens, in a rural area known as Contrada Rosara.   SHORT HISTORY The first documented information about a church in this place dates back to the beginning of the 18th century. The current church was built between 1896 and 1910 by the architect Gaetano Jurleo, who was also responsible for the facade of the Church of San Francesco d’Assisi. The sanctuary was solemnly consecrated by the Archbishop Tommaso Valeri on August 18, 1912. The old church was then demolished.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grata was built on a natural cistern destined since ancient times to store water necessary for the irrigation of the nearby gardens. To date, this cistern is full of water, causing considerable damage to the church above. The symmetrical facade of the church is made up of two main parts: the base, characterized by the entrance portal and a plinth on which four Corinthian pilasters and four niches are set, and the upper part, characterized by a central semicircular window surmounted by the emblem with the Read more [...]

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    Church of San Francesco d’Assisi

    The Church of San Francesco d’Assisi is a beautiful church located in the main square of Ostuni, Piazza della Libertà, adjacent to the Palazzo di Città (Palace of the City).   SHORT HISTORY The church was founded in 1304 by the Order of the Minor Friars, on a land donated by Philip I, Prince of Taranto. The friars took care of it for the next five centuries, and after the suppression of the religious orders in 1813, the church was given to the Archconfraternity of the Immaculate, which still manages it. In 1615, the Church of San Francesco d’Assisi underwent major transformations, being largely rebuilt. In the second half of the 18th century, the church was renovated under the direction of the master mason and sculptor Giuseppe Fasano, assisted by his son Carlo and by Nicolantonio Maldarella. The facade was designed in 1883 by the architect Gaetano Jurleo, to harmonize it with the adjacent facade of the Palazzo di Città, which today hosts the Town Hall.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church is divided into two orders by a cornice. On the upper order, there is an atypical window of Romanesque inspiration. In the lower part, near the door, Read more [...]