Churches and buildings
Nowadays it is possible to admire the remains of various historical eras... in the old town.
THE TOWERS AND THE “CASTELLO SVEVO”
The dominant feature of the city is definitely the” Torre Maestra” (Main Tower), 27 meters height made by local limestone. Originally the tower was built by the Normans but only the first floor; only in the Swabian period it has reached the present height. The Swabian castle originally had four square towers, one in each corner; inside we can find a fifth smaller tower, a soldiers' quarter, stables and the church of San Giovanni in Castro and the palatium.
THE CATHEDRAL (LA CATTEDRALE) It was founded in 1073 and completed in 1295. Its realization is dedicated to San Pietro and turns out to be one of the oldest Romanesque churches in Puglia. During the time it has undergone several changes but it has been restored in Romanesque style. Inside there is a crypt built in 1167 to preserve the sacred relics of the three holy martyrs protectors of Bisceglie; San Mauro, San Sergio and San Pantaleone.
SAINT ADOENO’S ABBEY (ABAZIA DI S. ADOENO)
Initially it was dedicated to the patron of the Normans in order to win their protection. Afterwards the Cathedral was considered one of the oldest churches in the city, dedicated to Adoeno Dado, bishop of Rouen (France). The Church still today retains a small relic coming from Normandy. On the façade there is a rose window surrounded by four lions and a statue of the Saint at the center; inside it is possible to admire an example of art dating from the year 1000: the baptismal font, with reliefs depicting Christ and the four evangelists.
SAINT MATTHEW’S CHURCH (LA CHIESA DI SAN MATTEO)
It was built in 1090, due to a fire in the early '600 but rebuilt between 1628 and 1692. Even today, on the inside, you can admire several paintings belonging to artists of the “Scuola Napoletana”.
SAINT LUIGI’S CHURCH (LA CHIESA DI S. LUIGI)
Its construction dates back to the early '500.His strategic position is due to the fact that at that point there were the ruins of a temple in which was buried Louis I of Anjou. Very close to the church there’s Monastero delle Clarisse still active today.
SAINT DOMINIC’S CHURCH (LA CHIESA DI S. DOMENICO)
Granted to the Dominican friars in 1502, that in addition to dedicate it to the Holy, they decorated it completely. Adjacent to the church develops their convent, today it has become the City Hall.
SAINT MARGUERITE’S CHURCH (LA CHIESA DI S. MARGHERITA)
Just outside the ancient walls of the city centre and immune to renovations, the church is made of unequal cut stone courses with a pyramid roof. On the outside there are three tombs belonging to members of the Falcone family, founders of the church itself.
Entering through the narrow streets of the old city it is possible to admire different HISTORICAL BUILDINGS:
MANES PALACE (PALAZZO MANES)
Located in Trento street, it has held the record for the most important and most beautiful palace of Bisceglie. Built in '600 by the merchants Prospero Manes, it has a facade that recalls the Baroque and the Rococo styles.
AMMAZZALORSA PALACE (PALAZZO AMMAZZALORSA)
Located in Trieste street with a splendid view of the harbor.
BERARDUCCI PALACE (PALAZZO BERARDUCCI)
Built in the late '600, the structure has an atrium where it is possible to enjoy a well with Corinthian columns, the vaulted ceilings and the staircase located on the side.
FRISARI PALACE (PALAZZO FRISARI)
It is located in Tupputi street. His most relevant detail is the balcony in stone with columns carved from rose, emblem of Frisari that recurs in the rooms to adorn the vaulted ceilings.
BORGIA PALACE (PALAZZO BORGIA)
The oldest palace of Bisceglie with the wall to spearhead, dating back to '400, is very famous because it is said that it was the residence at Bisceglie of the Duchess Lucrezia Borgia, the illegitimate daughter of Pope Alexander VI.
LA NOTTE PALACE (PALAZZO LA NOTTE)
Located in Cristoforo Colombo street, it is an impressive building due to the splendid façade that boasts a simple arch topped by bosses and bosses to spearhead and a Baroque porch located on the first level.
THE SANTA CROCE CAVES (LE GROTTE DI SANTA CROCE)
It is a true testimony of the life presence from the Middle Palaeolithic to the Bronze Age. The cave is over 100 meters deep, has a very narrow entrance continuing gradually widening to form fairly large environments. Within the caves were found: numerous chipped stones (weapons and tools), the remains of extinct species of animals (lion cave, cave bear, primitives oxen and horses), the remains of remote animal species (rhino, hyena, deer) and the curved human femur attributable to the Neanderthal man, now kept in the Archaeological National Museum of Taranto.
THE DOLMEN (I DOLMEN)
Today there are only three Dolmens, all close to each other and facing east. They are real tombs dating back to the XVI-XIV centuries BC formed by slabs of limestone. Dolmen Albarosa and Dolmen Frisari where there are still the remains of the farm belonging to the family Frisari, and the Dolmen of Chianca, from the dialect chienghe which means stone slab, is the Dolmen which is preserved best of all.
THE FARMHOUSES (I CASALI)
Small villages testify the choice of a few wealthy families who left the city to live a safer and better life. Usually a farmhouse consisted of a central house enclosed and fortified by walls, a very large courtyard and a small chapel often with adjacent cemetery. Very characteristic due to the presence of perennial Olives, in the countryside of Bisceglie, it is possible to still admire: Casale di Giano, Casale di Pacciano, Casale di Zappino.
IL MONASTERO DI S. CROCE
Located in G. Frisari street, an example of unusual architecture, built between XVI and XVIII century, it involves the gathering of Chiesa dell’Annunziata (Church of the Annunciation), Monastero dei Frati Minori (Monastery of the Minor Friars) and Convento delle Clarisse (Convent of the Poor Clares). Structured on two levels there is a large courtyard inside. The building has all the signs of aging with the various renovations followed in different eras.
Currently the building hosts:
- The Municipal Library Mons. Pompeo Sarnelli
- Separate Section of the Historical Archive of Bisceglie
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM “FRANCESCO SAVEIRO MAIELLARO” (IL MUSEO CIVICO ARCHEOLOGICO "FRANCESCO SAVERIO MAIELLARO")
Founded in 1960, it houses a collection of artifacts found at the Paleolithic cave of Santa Croce as flint, bone tools, Neolithic burnished and painted pottery dating from the fifth millennium BC from archaeological sites of the Holy Cross and Albarosa. Other findings come also from the Dolmen of Chianca.
The museum also houses the fossil imprint of a basket-mat dating back to the sixth millennium BC. It is a collection of amphorae and necks of Roman amphora vinarie recovered from the seabed near Salsello area and valuable funerary urn dating from the Roman era in the first millennium AC from the church of Santa Margherita.
MUSEUM OF THE SEA (IL MUSEO CIVICO DEL MARE)
Opened on July 20, 2002, it is divided into nine sections, among which there are instruments for navigation, sub-marine archeology, anchors and ship models.
DIOCESAN MUSEUM (MUSEO DIOCESANO)
It is located in Largo S. Donato inside an old Episcopal Palace adjacent to the Cathedral. Founded in 1982, it brings together paintings, silver, wooden sculptures and lapidary from the cathedral and various churches of Bisceglie, dating from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.
ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM "FRANCESCO PRELORENZO" (MUSEO ETNOGRAFICO "FRANCESCO PRELORENZO"
Founded in 1987, it is located within the Norman Tower in Piazza Castello. It consists of an ethnographic collection divided on three floors. On the first floor there are rare equipment related to the lost trades. On the second floor there are furnitures and objects dating from the period between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. On the third floor there are collections of popular worship.