Piazza Duomo (Cathedral Square)

On the Cathedral Square, the heart of medieval Brindisi, overlook buildings of considerable value, among which the Cathedral Basilica, the Archbishop’s Seminary, De Leo Archbishop’s Library, former hospital of Jerusalemites and the Ribezzo Archaeological Museum.

On the Cathedral Square, the heart of medieval Brindisi, overlook buildings of considerable value, among which the Cathedral Basilica, the Archbishop’s Seminary, De Leo Archbishop’s Library, former hospital of Jerusalemites and the Ribezzo Archaeological Museum.

The first stone of the Cathedral Basilica, entitled to St. John the Baptist, was laid by Pope Urban II in 1089 and its construction was completed around 1143. It was a pilgrimage destination for crusaders departing from Brindisi for the Holy Land. Crusaders were hosted and assisted at the adjacent Hospital of the Jerusalemites. In 1191, the Cathedral was the theatre of the coronation of Tancred’s son, Roger as king of Sicily, and the royal wedding between Roger himself and Irene of Constantinople; in 1225, Frederick II of Swabia was married to Isabella of Brienne, queen of Jerusalem.

Today very little remains of the Norman plant, because a violent earthquake, in 1743, provoked such severe damage to require a radical restructuring, made following the taste of the age.

Not far from the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Seminary, a building in Baroque style built upon the wishes of Monsignor Perlas in 1720, also suffered such damage to the point that it required the rebuilding of the facade. The adjacent De Leo Archbishop’s Library was founded in 1798 by the Archbishop Annibale De Leo with a fund of 6.000 volumes. In the same year, it was officially recognised by Ferdinand IV, becoming the first public library in the Land of Otranto. On the opposite side of the square is located the Ribezzo Archaeological Museum, where you can admire findings from prehistoric to Late-Roman times, including a rich Latin, Greek and Hebrew epigraphic section.

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Piazza Duomo 12
Brindisi 72100 Puglia IT
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