The Martyrs of Otranto

The Cathedral of Otranto stands on the highest part of the town and its original concept was to be the most outstanding religious monument in Puglia. It is dedicated to Santa Maria Annunziata and was built in the Twelfth Century upon the remains of a Roman Domus, a Messapian village and an early Christian temple.


It was consecrated on the first of August in 1088 by the papal legate Roffredo, under the papacy of Urbano the Second and is the biggest Cathedral in the whole Salento area.


In 1482 the right apsis was enlarged to create the Chapel of the Martyrs of Otranto. The archbishop Francesco Maria De Aste wanted the roof to be A-shaped and covered by a golden ceiling coffers, he also wanted a triumphal Baroque arch and the seven marble shrines in the memory of Saint martyrs of Otranto. These remains bestow this religious monument that touch of mystery and a bit of Gothic atmosphere.


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