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Spinazzola

Description

Spinazzola was founded in the third century BC close to a "statio of Rome" (transit station) along the Via Appia. After the fall of Western Roman Empire, the town was prey to hordes of Barbarians and Vandals, and the scene of battles between the Byzantines and the Goths and suffered, therefore, the invasions of the Lombards, Saracens, Hungarians, Huns, Normans and Suabi.
In 1100, the Knights Templar built here the first hospital in Apulia, for the recovery of the wounded soldiers from the Holy Land.
Until the early XX century there were still visible traces of a castle, owned by the Pignatelli family, where Antonio Pignatelli was born on March 13th, 1615, and later also birthplace of Pope Innocent XII.
The ancient village of Spinazzola has the typical medieval layout with narrow streets and alleys and arches that connect the houses one to each other.
Of major interest:

- the Norman Fortress of Garagone, which is already mentioned in a document of the XII century;
- the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle was built in 1300 in Romanesque style, but has suffered significant alterations in the XVII century. The interior features one nave and two aisles with four side arches. The apse houses the main altar and proposes a painting of St. Peter, masterpiece of the Lombard artist, Luciano Batoli (1953). The Cathedral preserves a series of artworks of the Barbarian and Byzantine ages and a valuable painting of 1300 of the artist Guarino, the Madonna of the People and the silver bust of St. Sebastian of the Neapolitan school.
On exhibition at the Municipal Art Gallery are paintings from '500 to '800 and a large historical collection of written laws and decrees of the Kingdom of Italy.

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