The Cathedral is the best known landmark of Ostuni. Built between 1435 and 1495 in the late Gothic style, it has a tripartite façade, divided by two pilaster-strips. Above the central portal there is a magnificent rose window with 24 finely carved ribs. The interior of the church is XVIII century and has a level ceiling and Baroque side chapels.
Palazzo Vescovile, Palazzo del Seminario and the Loggia
Inside the piazza on either sides of the cathedral one can see the Palazzo Vescovile and Palazzo del Seminario joined by an elegant arched loggia (1750) where there is a winged putto (originally two) on the fastigium. In the palazzo Vescovile lie the remains of the castle built in 1148 and destroyed in 1559.
The Surrounding Wall
The historic events that brought about the construction of the defensive walls date back to the Messapians, the Byzantine, the Normans, the Angevins and the Aragonese The Aragonese, probably after the earthquake of the 1456, reinforced the walls and the towers of the previous period and enlarged the defensive boundary towards the south.
It was originally an ancient Franciscan convent built in 1304. In the year 1739 two wings of the cloister and part of the convent were redesigned. Later in 1864 the convent was enlarged and transformed to become the Town Hall by redoing the façade in neoclassic style.
The Column of Sant'Oronzo
A baroque column built in 1771 on plans by the local maestro Giuseppe Greco. A statue of St Oronzo stands on the 20 metres pyramid-like structure.
Church of Santo Spirito
Built in 1637 by the bishop Melingi. It has one nave with a stone vault and a lunette. The façade is plain with a portal that strikes for its dimensions and the ornamental elements; it is older then the church (1450) and originally situated on the frontispiece of the medieval church of Ognissanti located in piazza del Moro (the modern piazza Sansone).
The Sanctuary of Sant'Oronzo
It was built between 1656 and 1657 with the money of the Ostuni population who wanted to thank the saint who, according to tradition, spared the Salento population from the plague that had started in Naples. The sanctuary is located on a hill called Morrone after an ancient specchia. It occupies the place of a former XVI church, built above a natural cave where the saint is said to have taken refuge to escape the persecution of early Christians.
The Sanctuary of San Biagio
The sanctuary of San Biagio represents one of the most interesting example of monastic edifications along all the south side of the Murge. It is also a major evidence of the influence of the Byzantine culture in Puglia from the IX to the XI century. The origins of the church and of the nearby buildings date back to the XII century.
Feast of San Biagio (3rd of February)
On this day of the year thousands of pilgrims go to the sanctuary of San Biagio where they can attend the mass held in the church. The landscape at the Sanctuary is notable for a great pothole considered by speleologists the biggest underground cavity in Puglia. It is a special occasion not only for its religious aspect but also for the opportunity, while walking, of admiring an unspoilt natural area, the monastic buildings and the Mediterranean vegetation.
Feast of the Madonna della Nova (Sunday after Easter)
On this day the locals visit the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Nova situated just outside the town, on the road to Carovigno.
Sagra degli altri tempi (15th August)
The historic centre is the scene for a display of old traditions, costumes and food preparation by the people of the old town. You can taste various types of traditional dishes and see the local artisansat work.
La Cavalcata (26th August)
La Cavalcata is a horse parade that follows the procession of Saint Oronzo, the protector of the city on the 26th of August. A silver statue of the saint is carried in memory of the knights who protected the pilgrims on the way to the sanctuary from the attacks of bandits. Horses and riders have mantillas and costumes in gold or silver embroidery.
La processione della Grata (2nd Sunday of August)
On the second Sunday of August, this procession leaves the Sanctuary della Grata to go to the centre of the city and, in the evening, the candles of the six thousand people who usually take part, light up the countryside. It is a striking scene you can watch from the top of the city.