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Otranto

Otranto

A look at Otranto
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Otranto
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Otranto
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Otranto
Ingo Kuebler

Otranto
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Otranto
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the village of Otranto (Derentò in greek salentino, Hydroûs in Greek and Hydruntum in Latin), greek center-Messapian and Roman, Byzantine then and later aragonese, develops around the imposing castle and the Norman cathedral. Capo d'Otranto, or Palascìa tip, is the point closest to the east of Italy, place of separation between the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea. Site in Valle dell'Idro, its Latin name refers also to a strong bond with the water. The territory was inhabited since the Palaeolithic and then populated by the Messapi, Greeks and finally by the Romans, who elected him a municipium. Otranto became one of the roman city most important of Puglia.

The merchant work and local craft was very flourishing, especially in the Processing of purple and tissues and also record the presence of a Jewish community since the ninth century, who expressed refined poets like Meiuchas Shabbatai and from Otranto. The Community was known throughout the Mediterranean and in reference to its prestige was coined the said 'din Bari will exit the law and the word of the Lord from Otranto'. At the beginning of the XIII century lived in Otranto the Jewish poet Anatoli, which therein composed a splendid dialog between the body and the mind after death.

The importance of its port did assume the role of a bridge between east and west. Otranto was Byzantine center and Gothic, then Norman, Swabian, Angevin and Aragonese. In his Cathedral, built between 1080 and 1088, in 1095 was imparted the blessing to twelve thousand Crusaders who, under the command of the prince Boemondo d'Altavilla (1050-1111), it starts to release and to protect the Holy Sepulchre. In 1480 the city was conquered by the Turks (Muhammad II), which slew of the population during the Battle of Otranto, killing 800 people: this is the Holy Martyrs idruntini. The Turks destroyed even the monastery of San Nicola di Casole (just south of Otranto). In it the Basilian monks had constituted the most extensive library of the then West besides having established the first form of college in history that hosted students from all over Europe who went to Otranto to study. It was one of these monks, Pantaleone, the author of the monumental mosaic floor (the largest in Europe) content in the cathedral. The product codes in this monastery are now preserved in the best libraries of Europe, from Paris to London, from Berlin to Moscow.

Starting from the second half of the Seventeenth Century Otranto lived a sharp decline of its importance. The trade was subject to a stop and cultural manifestations were almost non existent. Many of the inhabitants of Otranto, now exhausted and frightened by the continuous incursions by sea, decided to leave the country and move to safer places. So it was that the city lost that primary place they occupied in the Salento. The Eighteenth century was the century of a moderate recovery, thanks to the presence of some families of other centers of Terra d'Otranto that moved in the village. In the nineteenth century the otrantina campaign that surrounded the Alimini lakes was shabby and desert. There were only a few farms, some of which were inhabited only in some seasons of the year. In this area, the risk of contracting diseases was very high in the summer period, when occurred the drainage of swampy areas. The first reclamation project was drafted in 1868 and soon the marshes left the place to cultivated land. In the napoleonic period Otranto became a duchy of the Kingdom of Naples and enjoyed a decisive recovery.

Certainly deserve a visit to the cathedral of Otranto with its mosaic floor, work of Pantaleone. The church of San Pietro is the most ancient place of cult of the village and represents one of the greatest expressions of Byzantine art of the whole puglia. The church of the Madonna of the Altomare preserves a mosaic floor and decorations reminiscent of the seafaring tradition. The foundation of the monastery of San Nicola di Casole dates back to 1098 and was one of the most important places of the Salento from the point of view of historical, cultural and artistic. Very active cultural center, preserved for long centuries numerous volumes Latin and Greek, which made it one of the libraries the richest in Europe. Destroyed in 1480 following the devastation of the Turks, it remain today only ruins.

In the surroundings of Otranto there are also numerous crypts and rupestrian churches very interesting as the crypt of San Nicola, situated in the Valley of the memories where stood an ancient rock village, with fragments of byzantine frescoes and frescoes in the Greek language. Near the hill of Minerva, instead, is located in the crypt of the Padreterno entirely carved into the rock, along whose walls, entirely frescoed, distributes the stone seat for the faithful. On the hill of San Giovanni is accessing an interesting underground complex of paleochristian catacombs.

Municipality of Otranto
Province of Lecce
Apulia Region

Population: 5.742
Altitude centre: 15 m s.l.m.

the Municipality is part of:
I Borghi più belli d'Italia
Città dell'olio
Unione Terre d'Oriente

Municipality of Otranto
Via Basilica 10 - Otranto (LE)
Tel. +39 0836 871111

Pro Loco Otranto
Vico Lopez - Otranto (LE)
Tel. +39 0836 806585
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Pro Loco Porto Badisco
Via Approdo di Enea, Porto Badisco - Otranto (LE)
Tel. +39 0836 811640

Journey through the Villages of the Taranta - part one

The first part of what will be a fantastic journey to discover Puglia and the Villages of the Taranta, where you can still see these explosions of life, madness and popular culture.

Borghi Pic is the Community of visitors of Borghi Magazine dedicated to the sharing of images taken in our beautiful villages.

Next or present Events

  • Feast to Our Lady of the Virgin
    01-09-2019
    Religious occurrences

    Add to calendar 2019-09-01 2019-09-01 Europe/Rome Feast to Our Lady of the Virgin Otranto dedicates a feast to Our Lady of the Virgin. The Church of Our Lady of the Virgin, a jewel of Otranto placed on the ridge of the sea, that day becomes the spiritual and identity center of the entire city. Otranto

    Otranto dedicates a feast to Our Lady of the Virgin. The Church of Our Lady of the Virgin, a jewel of Otranto placed on the ridge of the sea, that day becomes the spiritual and identity center of the entire city.

Past Events

  • Clouds: Love, madness, extravagance
    07-07-2018
    Shows

  • Otranto in celebration
    From 12-07-2018
    To 15-07-2018
    Otranto in celebration
    Festival

  • Gurdy
    23-07-2018
    Festival

    In the historic center of Otranto will be held the XXII edition of the exhibition that, in a carousel of ethnicities and sounds, languages and colors, will meet artists from the United States, Serbia, Italy, Switzerland, England, France, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Argentina and Brazil.

  • Mirko Lodedo
    27-07-2018
    Shows

  • Otranto Jazz Festival
    09-08-2018
    Concerts

  • Giovanni Allevi
    11-08-2018
    Concerts

  • Waiting for the dawn-Giovanni Allevi
    11-08-2018
    Concerts

  • Otranto Film Fund Festival
    From 09-09-2018
    To 16-09-2018
    Shows

    Meetings and many other appointments with directors, actors and film critics, to tell the very close relationship between cinema and territory.

COMMENTS :
 
Where to sleep

Agriturismo Casina Spiggiano

C.da Spiggiano - 73054 , Presicce (LE)
34.77 Kilometers from Otranto

Masseria Uccio

Via Madonna di Fatima - 73039, Tricase (LE)
27.79 Kilometers from Otranto