Monopoli - Città Turistica
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A tourist can find and admire remains of the thousand-year old history of the town in the museums, real jewels of the town. The original open air Artillery museum stretches along the defence system of the old town, starting from the Castle of Charles the fifth. Cannons that came from Gaeta, had been placed on towers; the House of Savoy donated them to Monopoli in order to employ them as bollards. Parts of the walls were fundamental, with citizen’s ardour, to fight off the memorable siege by the Marquis del Vasto’s ranks in 1529. The airy palace of Seminario vescovile, dated back to the end of the 17th century, houses the Diocesan museum. Many icons exposed, testify the layering of dominations and artistic influences from Byzantine world to the Neapolitan kingdom. The mystical tension of the Byzantine Virgins, the 16th century brightness of Francesco Vecellio’s works and the baroque theatricalism make you perceive the popular religious fervour behind saints and holy effigies, subjects of humble prayers. A visit to the Cathedral Museum drives you back to the Messapian and medieval civilization. A typical bronze messapian trozzella and other finds discovered in graves are particular interesting as sculpted figures that represent Old and New Testament scenes. The crypt was found in 1986. It belonged to the Romanesque Cathedral that was built up by Bishop Romualdo, protagonist of the miraculous landing of Madonna della Madia. S. Leonardo Museum hosts sacred art manifactures exposed along the matroneum of the homonymous church in the heart of the old historical centre.