The Earth in Bari, constituted by a series of steps that, in time, created LE MURGE and sweet slopes toward the sea. Bari and its province were developed using the resources emanating from the Adriatic Sea, through trade relations and the relationships with the Eastern Mediterranean, and from the hills characterizing this carsico territory, thanks to cultivation and development. Today these landscapes still keep intact the signs of man and time: along the whole highlands you can see miles of dry stone walls that surround the private property of trulli the splendid Romanesque Cathedrals, that here have maximized their splendour and the appreciated castles, among which those of the federicians stand out. Of particular interest in this area is the National Park in the high part of Murgia.
BASILICA OF ST. NICOLA – BARI
Distance from B&B: 300 m
The interior has a nave and three aisles, divided by granite columns and pilasters. The presbytery is separated from the rest of the edifice by mean of three arches supported by columns of Byzantine influence. Above the aisles is the matronaeum, a tribune gallery for women, opening into the nave. The basilica was the first church of this design, setting a precedent which was later imitated in numerous other constructions in the region. The transept is made from an extensive classroom tripartite of two transversal arches. The inside is made particularly pleasant by the numerous capitals that suggest Byzantine styles, livened by figurative inserts, as well as from capitals that enhance motives and forms of the classical matrix with other Anglo-Norman miniatures.
The third arch on the north side houses the Porta dei Leoni (Lion Portal), decorated with sculpture signed by Basilio. Lions support the columns flanking the door, two personifications of the months can be seen on the impost blocks, and below the arch are chivalric scenes. The south side also has a fine doorway.
Stairways in the side aisles lead down to the crypt, where the relics of St. Nicholas can be visited. The altar centers on a Byzantine icon given by the King of Serbia in 1319, surrounded by silver and gold reliefs of 1684 by Domenico Marinelli and Antonio Avitabili. The crypt is supported by 28 columns with carved capitals. In the presbytery an altar in stone preserves the relics from which for centuries the manna has oozed: a liquid now distributed in cruets to the believers.
The whole sacred space is paved with mosaic in opus sectile with Byzantine geometric motives. The outside strongly presents compact, with apses contained within a building curtain and the placed side by side façade from two towers. The decoration of the portals and the protiro planned on columns supported by column bearing lions are notable.. To the testimony of the Baroque phase the monumental ceiling remains in carved wood and gilded with paintings of Charles Rosa representing Scenes of the life and the miracles of the Saint.
CATHEDRAL OF ST.SABINO - BARI
Distance from B&B: 500 m
Situated in the heart of "old", Bari the Cathedral of Saint Maria (today St. Sabino) Bari Cathedral is the cathedral of Bari, The cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto, as it was previously of the archbishops, earlier bishops, of Bari. It is dedicated to Saint Sabinus, a bishop of Canosa, whose relics were brought here in the 9th century.
The present building was constructed between the late 12th and late 13th centuries, mostly in the last thirty years of the 12th century, and was built on the site of the ruins of the Imperial Byzantine cathedral destroyed in 1156 by William I of Sicily known as the Wicked to the right of the transept it is still possible to observe traces of the original pavement which extends under the nave.
Stylistically, this is an important example of Apulian Romanesque. The simple façade has three portals of the 11th century below a rose window, over which is a lintel carved with monsters and fantastic beasts.
Internally the cathedral is divided into three aisles of sixteen columns with arcades. The church, which had been overwhelmed by Baroque additions, has now been restored to the uncluttered beauty of the original Apulian Romanesque in the transept, in the false matroneum, and in the magnificent pulpit rebuilt recently from the same material as before.
In the crypt are preserved the relics of Saint Sabinus, bishop of Canosa, in the larger altar. These were brought to Bari in 844 by Saint Angelarius, bishop of Canosa, who after the destruction of the city by the Saracens, rescued them from the ruins. The silver bust of Saint Sabinus that was here formerly was later transferred to the capitular archive, and now the icon of the Madonna Odegitria is venerated here: according to tradition this was brought from the Orient in the 8th century, but in reality it is later, although nevertheless a cult object of great antiquity.
On the left side of the transept the sacristy is situated, Trulla, of cylindrical form, perhaps in origin of a baptistery. Of notable historical-artistic value is the ipogea "succorpo" denominated part, an itinerary museum of great suggestion with interesting passages of archaeology referring to four principal historical moments: the Roman phase, the phase Paleo-Christian and high medieval and the modern phase.
CASTLE SWABIAN - BARI
Distance from B&B: 750 m
This Castle was built by the Normans in the XII century and restored by King Frederick II between 1233 and 1240. The castle, located in a central district of the Apulian capital, it is a spectacular testimony of medieval construction that offers the opportunity to tourists of visiting one of the most interesting fortifications of the region. Admiring the stone bridge through which the castle is accessed the angular bastions used for the defense of the fortification and the numerous towers that characterize the quadrangular structure: the Minor tower, the Monk's tower, the tower of the Wind and the tower of the Semaphore. Today the castle is the centre of the Superintendence for the Environmental and Architectural history of Puglia and inside it houses exhibitions.