Puglia
The city guide on smartphone
completely FREE

Monuments Fortino Sant'Antonio Abate

Immagine di Fortino Sant'Antonio Abate
The fort of St. Anthony abbot is one of the bastions once being part of the city walls and effective in defending it. It was built about 1440 by the prince of Taranto Giovanni Antonio del Balzo above a tower, which had been founded 100 years before by Robert of Anjou in order to protect the city from the pirates. After the death of the Prince, the inhabitants of Bari demolished it, as they didn't tolerate his dominion. In 1501 the fort was restored by Isabel of Aragon, who strengthened the walls as well as the defenses of the city. Otranto had been besieged some time before and the Turks threatened to destroy the coast cities. On the initiative of Isabel, subterranean stairs were also built in order to escape in case of danger. The arches of the exit from this subterranean passage as well as the last entrance in the city walls, leading once to the port, can still be seen at the foot of the fortress. The opening is surmounted by a coat of arms, probably ordered by the Prince Giovanni Antonio del Balzo and subsequently worn away by the sea or rubbed by the angry local people. This is the gate once leading to the sea, through which passed the merchants and pilgrims landing in the old port. Through this opening passed also the carts transporting heavy goods, which were discharged from the ships and then carried to the nearby market-place. Passing through the entrance, one can still see the holes for the large beams fastening the gate as well as the stone hinges. Moreover, in the upper part of the entrance are the vertical grooves from which the portcullises were lowered to the ground in order to keep out enemies during time of siege. Although it was so difficult to enter the city, Bari was often under siege! From the deep and dark entrance one can glimpse the doors giving access to the guard rooms. Recent repair works brought to light remains of a tower and of a byzantine church dating back to the IX and X centuries.
Beneath the fort is situated a chapel.


Partners

Camera di
Commercio di Bari
Provincia
di Bari
CNA di Bari
Comune di
Bari
Comune di
Gioia del Colle
Comune di
Putignano
Comune di
Sannicandro di Bari
Comune di
Palo del Colle