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Minervino Murge


Known as the "balcony over Apulia", the small city of Minervino Murge lies between the Valleys of Ofanto and Moncone. The traces of the Prehistoric Ages evidence that the area was already inhabited in the II Millennium b.C., whilst the first settlement is dated between VIII and VII century b.C.

The legend tells that the city was founded by some soldiers, survivors of the battle of Canne, that took refuge here and, after falling in love with some of the young shepherdesses of the area, they married them during a special wedding celebration in a temple built here, entitled to the Goddess Minerva.

A Bishop's seat during the Norman domination, in the XV century the Minervino Murge was ruled by the Princes of Taranto and in 1508 Ferdinando il Cattolico donated the city to the Earl Forti Onorati d'Aragona.

Built towards the North, on the top of a hill, in a neat defending position, the original centre of the Castle is of certain Norman origins; over the centuries (mainly with the Princes Pignatelli), the building has been often tampered and today is a private residence.

The Cathedral of the Assunta, also built in the Norman period, was completely refurbished between the XVI and XVII centuries. The façade in stone proposes a Romanesque style rose window and three portals in Renaissance style. Above the one on the right hand side, there is a high relief that features the Virgin and Baby Jesus and is an exhibit of the original building.

The Church, entitled to the Immacolata Concezione of the XVIII century, was built on the ruins of a small church used in the past as a tomb crypt. The construction built with a unique nave on a Latin Cross plan, features a Baroque façade which encloses two bell towers.

Not to miss: the Church of San Francesco, also known as " of the Purgatory", built between the XIV and XV centuries; the Church of the Beata Vergine dell'Incoronata, with an important pronao (columned porch); the Cavern of San Michele, with its religious traces dated year 1000 and the Faro (lighthouse), a monument built in 1932 to symbolize the Fascist era and those lost at war.


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