What to visit in the historical center

Basilica of S. Croce

santacroceThe Basilica of S. Croce is justly considered the most famous and typical example of “Leccese Baroque”. Built between the sixteenth and the seventeenth century, was completed by renowned local decorator Giuseppe Zimbalo. The prospectus is divided into three orders. In the first, overall very simple, you immediately immediately notice the rich portal of entry, delimited by two pairs of columns with capitals that support the entablature, and the two lateral portals of a smaller size. The second order is characterized by a long balustrade supported by zoomorphic and anthropomorphic caryatids powerfully symbolic. Among these figures you can see the Turks forced to be bent and feel the full weight of Christianity. Thirteen cherubs run along the railing. The third order is enriched with the central rose-window and, at each sides, with the statues of St.Benedict (on the right) and St.Celestine (on the left). The interior of the church is of such a dignity and balance: it consist of three naves. Adjoining the church is the former Convent of the Celestini, today’s Palazzo del Governo.

Duomo Square

duomoThe square consists of: the Cathedral (Duomo) with the Bishop’s Palace on one side and the Bell Tower on the other, and the Seminary Palace. The Cathedral was first built in 1144, then in 1230 and finally in 1659 by the architect Giuseppe Zimbalo. It has two façade: the first which, for its position inside the courtyard, appearing in front of the people who enter it,is considered the main façade, but the real main façade is the other one, on left of the Bishop’s Palace. The Latin cross interior consists of three naves separated by pillars and half-columns. Besides the high altar, in polychrome marble, dedicated to the Virgin ascending to Heaven, there are twelve sumptuous altars, sometimes overloaded with excessive decoration which are set at the side of both stuccoed naves.

It is the most relevant testimony of the Roman period in Salento. Presumably built between the I and the II century A.D., only half of it was brought to light following the excavations partly. The other half of the ellipsis is still buried under the St. Oronzo Square. Most of the statues and decorations found and displayed in the Provincial Archaeological Museum “S. Castromediano”.



Roman Theatre

The theater has been brought to light at different times from 1929 to Cosimo de Giorgi, and only recently has been restored. On uncertain date, the monument is assigned to the period augusteo. The semicircular orchestra has low steps on which the authorities were set. The stage was very rich, covered with marble, with the background wall magnificently decorated and consisting of colonnades and niches statues. The fragment and the statues found are kept in the Provincial Archaeological Museum “S. Castromediano”

Castle of Carlo V

carlovRebuilt on the request of Charles V (between 1539 and 1549) who ordered the design to be carried out by his faithful baron, the architect Gian Giacomo dell’Acaya. The castle is an imposing fortress whose shape is an irregular quadrilateral with four powerful lance end shaped bulwarks. By now, the castle used for corporate and cultural events.

Church of S. Matteo

smatteoThe facade is different from all the other churches in Lecce, exemplified in the Roman Baroque of Borromini. It is the only one that presents the prospectus, which distinguishes the Baroque churches: a contrast of lines between the two levels of the front, which is convex at the entrance and concave in the upper part. On the upper part there is a window that echoes the “serliana” with at the sides familiar vases full of flowers. The interior is elliptic and contain rich altar and twelve statues representing the apostles.



Corte dei musco, 3 - 73100 Lecce
via Ferrante d'Aragona, 17 - 73100 Lecce
Email: info@bbcortedeimusco.it
Cell.: (+39) 380.2443636
or (+39) 347.9756757

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