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Home /Brindisi

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Castello Svevo, Brindisi

Brindisi is in the Salento plains and on the Adriatic sea, with a natural harbour jutting into the land and whose deer-like shape determined the name of the town. The town, once the main base of the Messapian civilization, always conflicted with neigbouring Taranto and was conquered by the Romans in 267 b.c. Connected to the capital of the Empire by via Appia and via Traiana, it was an extremely important trading centre and episcopal base as from the start of the apostolic age. Conquered by the Goths and then ruled by Byzantium, the town was destroyed by the Lombards in 674 and its Guaceto Tower became a Saracen base. Brindisi then shared the fate of all towns in the Region and was ruled by Byzantines, Normans, Swabians, Angevins and Aragons. Its port was conquered by the Venetian marine Republic and then subjected to the rule of Naples. Its period of greatest glory was at the time of the Unification of Italy, and for five months in the following century, between 1943 and 1944, when Brindisi even played a role as capital of Italy.

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An absolute must see at Brindisi is the Aragon Castle, a “sea fort” built to defend the town in 1491 on the island facing the harbour. The Castle is in two distinct parts: the “Red Castle”, built out of red stone, and the Fort, used to house the garrisons. The town’s second fort is the Swabian Castle or “Large Castle”, built on the order of Frederick II as a fortified residence for the garrisons and with material obtained from demolishing part of the old town walls and several of the town’s monuments. Places definitely not to be missed in the town centre are the Porticato dei De Cateniano that once belonged to the Hospital order of the Jerusalem Knights, the Provincial Archaeology Museum, the Loggia of Palazzo Balsamo and the Diocesan Museum. In the San Pietro degli Schiavoni district (below, the Teatro Verdi, from via Duomo), it is worth visiting the archaeological area with its Roman zone, comprising a thermal spa, houses and road. Nearby are also five lime baths for filtering potable water. Beside road San Vito is the Tancredi Fountain erected on the order of Emperor Tancredi in 1192 to celebrate the marriage of his son Ruggero to Irene, the daughter of the Emperor of Constantinople.
Traditional rites worth attending include the sea Procession of Patron Saints during the first week in September, the Adorned Horse of Corpus Domini and Osanna, a religious rite of Greek origin that has taken place ever since the mid 10th century.

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Population: 87935
Province: Brindisi
Patron Saint: San Teodoro D'Amasea e San Lorenzo da Brindisi (prima domenica di settembre)
Area Code: 0831
Town website: www.comune.brindisi.it

Sources: A cura della redazione e del PIS 12 Polo di Brindisi
Updated on: 15/10/2012