Ceglie, la capitale della Messapia

This lovely town situated on a hill about 11 kilometres south of Ostuni, takes its name from the ancient Messapian settlement Caelia, which was of particular importance in the IV and III centuries B.C. Protected by a 5 km perimeter of walls, the town's acropolis once dominated the surrounding area, and on this base in medieval times the contemporary town began to develop.

The old town preserves up to the present day an Oriental appearance. The most outstanding monument is the Castle of the Sanseverino family (XV century), built around a primitive Norman tower.

The Mother Church was originally built in 1521, but was restructured at the end of the XVIII century. The surrounding area is dominated by that unmistakable landscape made up of Trulli and specchie (piles of stones frequently connected to funeral rites), which bears witness to the ancient Messapian origins of the zone.

Three kilometres along the road for Franca-villa lies the crypt of S. Michele, containing frescoes from a Byzantine school which can be dated back to the XIV century.

 

 
 
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