Andros is the name that the
mythical hero Diomedes (Tideo) gave to the city he founded,
but Andria probably has multiple origins: Greek by the name
of Netion, or apostolic due to the presence on its territory
of Saint Andrea.
Definitely during Roman times, Andria linked
its development to the presence of Via Traiana and the nearby
and more influential Trani.
After the Barbaric invasions (5th Century AD) and that of
the Ostrogoth Reign (476-535), Andria, as with all of Puglia,
passed into Byzantine hands and became a main seat for the
Basilian Monk Community, known as Andre.
It remained a small community until 1046, the year in which
Count Peter the Norman conquered it and put up defensive walls
containing 12 towers. The City took shape and became an important
Duchy under the rule of his son, Count Peter II.
In the successive century, Andria became a episcopal seat,
and therefore after passing hands to the Swabians, became
very important due to the presence of Emperor Federick II
in neighbouring Castel del Monte. Andria then enjoyed a period
of development, thanks to special fiscal exemptions in exchange
for a strong devotion to Federick the Great’s power,
therefore deserving of the title of Fidelis.
The Angioini brought about the fall of the Swabians (13th
Century) and gave the City as a dowry for Beatrice, daughter
of Charles II of Angiò, who married Bertrando del Balzo.
The union gave the governing of the City over to his family
for two centuries until 28th November 1486, when Isabella
del Balzo married King Federick of Aragon, future King of
In 1552, Andria was handed over to the Carafa Family, under
which it remained until the advent of the Napoleonic Italian
Campaigns (1799). They brought Republican ideals with them
and for a while gave hope of increased rights, even for the
poorer classes. Andria, however, remained faithful to Federick
IVth of Naples and suffered siege at the hands of French troops.
For this reason it deserves the title of Royal City. After
the Renaissance uprisings, it passed permanently under the
Reign of Italy (1860).
In Andria on can visit the Cattedrale dell'Assunta (Assumption
Cathedral – 12th Century) with its 7th Century Crypt
belonging to the previous High Medieval period building, where
the remains of Isabella of England and Jolanda of Brienne,
wives of the Emperor Federick II of Swabia are kept.
There are many other Romanesque architectural religious testimonies
in the City, amongst which: the Church of Sant'Agostino (Saint
Augustine – 13th Century) which was constructed by the
Teutonic Knights. (The church was later handed over to the
Benedictines, and rebuilt by the Augustinians after the sieges
of 1350); the Church of S. Croce (10th Century), S. Nicola,
the Church of Saint Frances and the Cloister (12th Century).
Apart from the Palazzo Ducale (restored by the Carafa Family
during the 16th Century), be sure not to miss the Palazzo
Vescovile (Episcopal Building).
Closet to Andria is where you will find the beautiful Castel
del Monte, decreed a UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity site