/ / Conversano: photo description (Conversano)

Conversano: photo description (Conversano)

Conversano is an ancient city in the Italian region of Apulia, located 30 km Southeast of Bari and 7 km from the Adriatic sea. Here was the stables of the counts of Conversano, where they bred horses of the breed Napoletano. One of these horses, born in 1767, the year and bearing the name of Conversano, became the chief put out to stud for the Lipizzaner breed.

The territory of the modern city was inhabited since the iron age, when tribes apigo and Piketon founded on the hill village called Norba. Already by the 6th century BC it became a prosperous trading city, which is heavily under the influence of the nearby Greek colonies. 268-m BC Norbu was captured by the Romans, seven centuries later, when the Peninsula was invaded by the Visigoths, the city was abandoned.

New city born out of the ashes Norby, became known in the mid-11th century, when the Norman ruler took the title of count of Conversano and turned it into the capital of a large County, located between Lecce and nardò. Then, for three centuries the town passed from hand to hand, until in 1455, the year was not the property of Catherine del Balz Orsini, wife of Giulio Antonio Acquaviva, a genus which ruled here until the beginning of the 19th century.

Today this small town is known primarily for its medieval castle, Castello Conversano, which was built during the reign of the Normans and Hohenstaufen. It is located on a hill overlooking the city and dates back to the 6th century, although most of the castle was substantially rebuilt in the 11th century. Its remarkable feature is the only round tower, erected by Giulio Acquaviva.

The Romanesque Cathedral was built in the 11th century, but some of his decorations were added in the 14th and 17th centuries. Its appearance is characterized by a Romanesque façade, with a huge window-wall plug and three portals decorated with a sculptural composition. Inside one can admire a fresco of the 15th century, written by a master of the Pisan school, and the icon of the Madonna della Fonte, patroness of the city.

The Benedictine monastery of Conversano, founded, according to legend, in the 6th century, was once one of the most influential in the whole of Puglia. In the middle of the 13th century, the Benedictines were evicted, and in their place came the Cistercians. It was the only monastery in Europe, novices who might wear religious symbols, such as mitre. In the Church of the Abbey is preserved part of the wall of the 11th century, and its decorations date from the mid-17th century. It is noteworthy that the bell tower of the monastery is higher than the bell tower for the Cathedral - it was a symbol of the superiority of the Abbey over the diocese.

Other attractions in Conversano is called megalithic complex of the 6th century BC, the Baroque Church of San Cosma and San Damiano, the Church of San Francesco of the 13th century and the Church of Santa Caterina of the 12th century. Also worth seeing the nearby Castello Marchione and the ruins of Castiglione.