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Thanks to its strategic position, the city has played a decisive role in the history of Capitanata. The site, in fact, since the pre-Roman era, was in the middle of a dense spider web that allowed connections between almost all the cities of Daunia; moreover, the position on a hill surrounded by the natural barrier of the Apennine ridge made it an impregnable bastion.

Formerly home to an important Roman colony, which guaranteed the control of the border with the neighboring Samnite regions, after the disorders of the early Middle Ages, Lucera once again became a strategic center for territorial rule, first by the Normans, then by the Swabians and finally by the Angevins. Here the Emperor Frederick II, on a hill surrounded by extensive oak woods, erected the Palatium, the imperial residence guarded by a lively community of Saracens, of which some remains can be found inside the turreted Angevin city walls.

The Angevins, in addition to adapting the Swabian fortress to new defensive techniques, began a policy of restoration of Christianity to eradicate the cult brought by the "Infidels" from the city. Some churches date back to this period, including Saint Francis, Saint Dominic and especially the monumental Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary, patron saint of the city, symbolically built on the site of the destroyed Saracen mosque. The building, with three naves with spaces of clear Cistercian inspiration, is a masterpiece of medieval art in Puglia and preserves valuable treasures, such as the altar from the Federica Palace and the fourteenth-century frescoes of the apse chapels, while the series of stone sculptures they are a true paradigm of Gothic statuary.

In the following centuries, the fourteenth-century churches were enriched with new works, which testify to the rank maintained by the city even in subsequent dominations. Particularly in Saint Dominic we highlight the canvas with "the miracle of Soriano" work of the '600 by Massimo Stanzione and a splendid wooden choir of 1640; in Saint Francis a sixteenth-century sepulcher and several 18th-century frescoes are on display. In this period the church of St. Matthew to Carmine was built, which preserves a beautiful marble altar surmounted by a painting by Francesco de Mura, a well-known Neapolitan artist, depicting Our Lady of Sorrows.

 

 
PLACES TO GO

In town
The Roman Amphitheater. The Swabian-Angevin Fortress. The Gothic Cathedral dedicated to Blessed Mary. The church-sanctuary of Saint Francis (preserves the remains of Saint Francesco Fasani). The church of Saint Dominic. The church of Carmine. The Fiorelli Civic Museum. The Diocesan Museum (at the Bishop's Palace). Troia gate and Foggia gate (entrances to the historic center). The "Garibaldi" Theater.

Nearby
The rural village of Saint Giusto and the reservoir on Celone creek, rich in aquatic avifauna. The monumental Oak of Saint Justa.

EVENTS CALENDAR
  • On August 6th, festival of Saint Francis Antony Fasani.
  • Our Lady of the Assumption’s day festival on 14th, 15th and 16th August with a procession of the Madonna's statue; in the previous days a procession in medieval costumes animated by jugglers and flag-wavers.
  • From July to September "Lucera summer" with various events organized in the most evocative places of the city.
  • In September Festival of Literature.
  • November 1st, cooked grape must festival.
  • November 27-29th, festival of Saint Francis Antony Fasani.
Roberta De Iulio