There are many cathedrals and churches in Puglia which underline the artistic and historical development of the region. Their visit is vital to understand the artistic development of puglia.
All people, and thus all cultures, who lived and prospered in Puglia from the Lombards and Bizantines to the Normans and Swabians have left wonderful cathedrals, sanctuaries and churches.
Below a list of the best cathedrals to see in Puglia listed by province (area) from north to south.
Cathedral founded by William II, "the Good", in 1170. It was rebuilt in 1731 and undergone numerous alterations over the years. It remains a fine example of Romanesque architecture with some Baroque touches.
It is one of the best preserved examples of Angevin architecture in south Italy. It was built by Charles II of Anjou in 1300 and has a spired brick façade with a central portal decorated by a large rose window. Inside, the high altar is a stone slab from the era of Frederick II.
Constructed between the V and XI century over a grotto where the saint is supposed to have appeared. It contains some precious works of art, including a bishop's throne carved by Acceptus in the XI century and an alabaster statue of Archangel.
Cathedral in Apulian-Romanesque style founded in 1039 by bishop Girardo. It has a superb façade with a lower section decorated by small blind arches balanced on pilaster-strips and an extravagant doorway decorated with Oriental motifs. On the upper level a rose window made up of 11 beams.
This is one of the most splendid examples of Romanesque architecture. Its façade is made up of spotless white limestone blocks set off by two bell-towers. The three-naved interior contains some unique examples of medieval architecture, including the splendid tabernacle of the 1150.
It was constructed during the era of Frederick II and rebuilt after the earthquake of the 1316. The façade is enhanced by a lovely portal and a rose window.
It is one of the most magnificent examples of medieval-Apulien religious architecture. it was built between the 1175 and 1200 along the lines of the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in Bari. The façade has a decorated porch and a rose window.
Cathedral from the mid-XI century dedicated to Saint Sabino. It contains the tomb of Bohemond, the son of Robert Guiscard.
This is one a the finest examples of Apulian-Romanesque architecture. Its construction began in 1097 and completed in the XIII century. Its pink-white stone façade is decorated with a monofora and an eye positioned above three windows.
The construction of this Cathedral begun in 1435 and completed between 1470 and 1495. It has a late-Gothic façade divided by two pilaster-strips. On the smooth stone surface of the central portal is situated a finely carved rose window made of 24 beams.
This is the most perfect example of the Baroque. Its beautiful façade is divided in two levels and surmounted by a large gable. The inside is on a Latin-cross plan, divided into three naves with a long presbytery and a central cupola.
The Duomo of Lecce, located in piazza Duomo, has two façades. The main one is austere in its simplicity while the side façade, the one facing the entrance of the piazza Duomo, is in Baroque style.
This is one of the rare example of Gothic architecture in Salento. Inside some beautiful frescos illustrating scenes from the Old and New Testament, portrays of Saints and the life of the Virgin. The façade has finely carved portals where the central one is surmounted by a rose window.
Cathedral built in 1080 by the Norman Roger. It has a 16 beamed rose window of the XV century, a baroque portal of 1763 and in the interior the mosaic of the XII century by the monk Pantaleone.
It was founded in the XII century and contains an imposing Romanesque church and a fram house which contains now the Museum of the Crafts and Folk Traditions of Salento. The façade has a rose window in its centre and decorated with blind arches.
The abbey of Santa Maria la Grande was founded by the Normans in 1112. It has a beautiful cupola and a sculpted medieval fountain.
This cathedral, founded in 1071, has frequently been restructed. The present-day façade is a result of the XVIII century refacing. It contains the chapel of San Cataldo which is an wonderful example of Baroque architecture.