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Basilica of San Martino


  • Ph. Franco Cappellari
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  • Ph. Franco Cappellari
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The main religious building in Martina Franca, the 18th-century Basilica, dominates Piazza Plebiscito in the heart of the historic centre, striking with its baroque curls and rococo decorations.

The smooth limestone façade is embellished with pilasters and capitals, and decorated with a precious high-relief portraying San Martino cutting his cloak in two. On its side there it are niches containing the statues of Santa Comasia, Santa Martina and San Giuseppe. Rising above this baroque triumph, the bell tower features gentle Romanesque motifs and single-lancet windows.

The interior has a central nave with refined side chapels decorated with multicoulor marble inlays. A delicate golden light floods these spaces adorned with exquisite statues, precious murals, small angels, and sophisticated fonts.

Next to the Cappellone (“large chapel”) the Presbytery safeguards the Basilica's rich treasure. This collection includes silver statues of Santa Comasia and San Martino (the city’s patron saints), and a wide assortment of sacred relics.

  • Historical notes

    The Church of San Martino was built between 1747 and 1763 over the remains of an earlier Romanesque church, of which only the bell tower has survived. The church was consecrated in 1775. Monsignor Buldo, Archbishop of Taranto, bestowed it with the title of Basilica in 1842. The building is still a point of reference for Christians in Martina Franca, and was declared a Minor Basilica in 1998.

  • Architecture

    A masterpiece of Martina Franca's baroque style, the Basilica of San Martino announces itself with a wonderful 37-meter-high (120-foot) façade. This Rococo (Late Baroque) triumph features a high-relief, enclosed in a seashell, depicting San Martino cutting his cloak. The façade culminates in an elaborate pediment, while two secondary entrances are characterized by broken tympana and a series of anthropomorphic gargoyles runs along the southern wall. Rising above the whole massive stone structure is a late Romanesque bell tower stands out above the whole massive stone structure. 

  • Main artworks

    The Basilica of San Martino is a treasure trove of art, safeguarding precious simulacra such as the silver statues of San Martino and Santa Comasia crafted by Andrea De Blasio in the 18th century. Other noticeable masterpieces include “L’Adorazione dei pastori” (The Adoration of the Shepherds), “San Raffaele,” the “Madonna di Costantinopoli”, and “Il Cenacolo” (The Last Supper) by Domenico Carella, The main altar is decorated with a statue of San Martino, credited to Stefano da Putignano, and two marble statues “Abbondanza e Carità” (Abundance and Charity) by Giuseppe Sammartino.

Via Masaniello 1 74015 Martina Franca +390804306536

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