Popular tourist destination and one of the most important fishing ports in Puglia, Mola di Bari is located in an area inhabited since Neolithic times, as witnessed by the findings found in the area of Portone di Ruggiero e Scamuso. Later it became a colony of the Magna Greek and Roman colony.
However, the first written records that concern the people of Mola date back to Medieval times (1277).
Around this time Charles I of Anjou gave orders to build a castle to defend the city from the continuous pirate raids. The current star shape plan and its fortified defenses were erected in the XVI century, after the siege by the Venetians.
The Mother Church, entitled to St. Nicholas, was built by Francis and John de Selenico and John from Curzola between 1545 and 1564 on the ruins of an earlier built church of the XIII century. Most valuable example of Renaissance architecture, the church is divided into one major nave and two aisles divided by columns and round arches that support an interesting gallery. Inside you can admire a beautiful baptismal font supported by dancing cherubs, two XVIII century altars (one marble and one in wood), paintings of the Neapolitan and Apulian schools, dating from the XVII and XVIII centuries, and preserves a wooden fragment that the local traditions attribute to the Cross of Christ.
Among other religious buildings not to miss: the Church of St. Anthony, built in 1503 where once stood a pre-existing chapel, the Church of Our Lady of Loreto, with a fine rose window in the limestone, the Church of San Giacomo, completely frescoed and the Church St. John's with the adjacent monastery, now home of the Academy of Fine Arts
Among the civil buildings worth of mention: Palazzo Roberti of the architect Vincenzo Ruffo, a student of Vanvitelli, and Teatro Comunale "Nicholas Van Westerhout," in a Neoclassical style.