Andria was founded by a legend by the Greek god Diomede, who gave to the city the name of Andros. In 1046 the city was subtracted from the Byzantine dominion by the Norman king Pietro I, who ordered the building of a fortified wall. In early 1200 Andria supported the Ghibellines, faithful to Federico II of Hohenstaufen. In 1350 and 1370 the city submitted two sieges: the first, by German and Lombard mercenaries of the Hungarian army, seriously damaged the second in 1370 by troops of Queen Joan I of Naples . in 1487 the city was acquired by the Aragons and was protagonist of many wars. The Carafa ruled the city in late 1700, till Andria became a Kingdom city and in 1806 it was ruled over the years by Giuseppe Bonaparte and Murat.
The Castle del Monte is a national monument, an emblem of the city and for the whole Apulian territory, declared a World Heritage Site of the UNESCO and considered one of the most enchanting castles of Europe. Built by Federico II in the XIII century on a hill top at 540 meters above sea level. The fortress is an octagonal prism with an octagonal bastion at each corner. The Emperor's used this residence to study mathematics and astronomy and to go hunting as the castle has neither a moat nor a dungeon and might in fact never have been intended as a defensive fortress.
The originality consists in the prism shape with sixteen trapezoidal rooms allocated on two floors, connected one to each other by the staircases in the towers. The building is a perfect mixture of styles from Roman to Arab, Norman and Gothic. The outline of the castle is minted on the Euro cent coin.
The Cathedral of Andria, built in the XII century in Romanesque style on the ruins of the church of SS. Salvatore. The wives of Federico II (Jolanda of Brienne and Isabella of England) are buried in the crypt. The bell tower, a massive size building with an octagonal spire, built on the ruins of a Longobardo Tower.
At 2 km from the city rises the Sanctuary of the Madonna dei Miracoli, houses a venerated Byzantine icon. The Basilica is on three levels and the major altar of each church is perpendicular to the one below or above.
Not to miss: the Town Hall, the Palazzo Ducale (fortified and damaged residence of the Duke of XVI century), the Porta of Sant'Andrea or Arch of Federico II, the Church of Santa Croce (X century), the Church of San Francesco with its wonderful cloister (XII century), the Church of San Domenico (with a Renaissance style portal and the Baroque style bell tower) and the Church of Sant'Agostino (XIII century), built by the Templar Knights.