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Church of St. Mary Amalfitana

Local historians, on the basis of information provided by the Chronicle of Bante Brigantino, recall a vow fulfilled by sailors from Amalfi: they narrate that in 1059 a boat from Amalfi was about to shipwreck; the sailors turned to the Virgin Mary to save them from danger. Having survived the shipwreck, they wanted to dedicate the crypt on which the Church of S. Mary degli Amalfitani was built to Our Lady.

The upper church was built by the Amalfitans in the first half of the 12th century, i.e. during the period of the blossoming and expansion of Amalfi's economic power, which possessed convents and religious foundations not only in Monopoli.

The church, all in masonry, is divided into three naves, the central one wider than the side naves that end in three semicircular apses; the two side apses were disrupted by adjoining buildings and were reworked in the 1932 interventions. The exterior of the central apse, except for some deterioration, originally shows the architectural and decorative imprint of the 12th century.

With the work that began in 1932, all baroque structures were removed from the church, restoring it to its ancient appearance. The original structure of the church was a basilica type of early Christian derivation.

The church has three naves. From the right aisle, one descends into the Basilian cave, perhaps the same one that was the primitive sanctuary of the Amalfitans, later reduced to a burial ground and mass grave in times of plagues and widespread mortality. From the left aisle , at the back you exit into the apses courtyard .

A series of slender arches links the columns to each other. All the capitals reflect the traditional Romanesque form. Nothing remains of the altar, because it was demolished in 1500. The altar that can be seen today is a recent work by the famous master marble worker Nicol├▓ Lamberti.

Currently, in addition to worship activities, painting or photography exhibitions and classical music concerts are often held in the church.

Graziano Bellifemine, the Basilica of St Mary of the Amalfitans in Monopoli, Schena publisher.
Giacomo Campanelli, Monopoli tourist guide, Schena publisher.

­čôŹReach the Structure

CREDITS: Comune di Monopoli.

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