Travel: Longest Travel day EVER (II)

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Coming out of the Basilica di San Nicola, the gorgeous weather took a turn, and I decided to venture to my next destination as quickly as I could. Unfortunately, being an old port town, the street alignment was very similar to Venice, meaning nonexistent. so I confusedly zigzagged and took a few random detours before finally reaching the Bari Cathedral.

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Despite being a lesser-known church than the former, it is actually senior to it and the seat of the Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto. The documented presence of a bishop can be traced back to Gervasius , who attended the Council of Sardica in 347, and his successor Concordius, who was present at the Synod of Rome of 465.  Elevated to an archbishop in the 6th century, the presence of a cathedral is documented during this period.

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The present building, however, was constructed between the late 12th and late 13th centuries, although the present nave does still contain traces of an ancient apses church building from before the first millennium, which had three aisles and square pilasters, and foundations on an axis slightly out of alignment from the current cathedral.  One of the mosaic pavements bears an inscription with the name of Bishop Andrea (758 – 761) and it seems highly likely that these are the remains of the first cathedral, which was destroyed in the 9th or 10th century.

It is an important example of  Apulian Romanesque. (I’ll have to come back to this style when I have more time to research it, as my dear friend Wikipedia has little to say). 

FYI: It is sometime around here when I started to mess around with my camera settings, and then I didn’t know how to undo them. 😦 SO I didn’t realize that the quality of my pictures for this set were off until too late.

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After this, I had, as a friend I met in Venice would put it, ABC (Another Bloody Castle/Church to see).  I suppose the common terminology would be Bari Castle, but it is known as the Castello Normanno Svevo. It lies within the Apulia region of Italy, and was built around 1132 by the Norman King Roger II, but was destroyed in 1156 by William I of Sicily before being  rebuilt and reinforced in 1233 by the Holy Roman emperor Fredrick II.

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During the Angevin domination, it went through several transformation, and after being acquired by Duke Ferdinand of Aragon, was donated to the Sforza family and passed to Bona Sforza, Queen of Poland. After Bona’s death, it was returned under the King of Naples and transformed into a prison and barracks.

The castle is surrounded by a moat on all sides, except the northern section, which was bordering the sea and can be accessed from the bridge and the gate on the southern side. It is mainly composed of the Aragon walls and the main Swabian tower, and is currently used for exhibitions.

I am almost grateful that Greece is not a nation known for its castles or churches. Of course, the equivalent is that it is known for it temples and the gorgeous beaches and breathtaking landscapes. More on this later.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Travel: Longest Travel day EVER (III) | CestLaJu

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