Piazza - Galatina

GALATINA

Galatina is a city in Salento in the province of Lecce. It is famous mainly for its Cathedral dedicated to Saint Caterina, containing beautiful frescoes.

Today’s habitation has definite feudal origins from the High Medieval era, but nothing much is known about this obscure period.
Galatina was not mentioned in historical documentation until 1200, where it was described as having a lively and important centre for culture, language and Greek religious rites. This moves its past history to at least the Byzantine domination of Southern Puglia, beginning with the Greek-Gothic War (535-553). But nothing prohibits one thinking that Galatina also existed under the Roman Empire, and that it probably had, like many other cities of Salento, even earlier foundations.
One thing for certain is that Galatina - which at the time was called San Pietro in Galantina in honour of the apostle who passed through here during his journey to Rome - was an integral part of the County of Soleto, whose feudatories were also nobles of Galatina.
After the advent of the Normans and Swabians, Galatina was granted to Ugo del Balzo, who disembarked in Italy after Carlo d’Angiò (1266). In 1334, the same family had defensive walls erected. The Balzo Family then became Orsini del Balzo through marriage (1386) to Maria d’Enghien Brienne.
Among the most interesting places, other than the aforementioned Cathedral of Saint Caterina in Romanesque Pugliese style, is the Church of Saints Peter and Paul (1335, rebuilt in 1633), a beautiful Baroque-Pugliese example which preserves precious paintings in its interior.
Other religious buildings are the: Church of the Battenti, Monastery of S. Chiara, Carmelitan Church and Convent, Cappuccini Church, Church of the Addolorata, Anime Church, Church-Abbey of the Olivetani and the S. Maria delle Grazie Church which is annexed to a Dominican convent.
Along the wall there are three doorways: Porta Luce, Porta Nuova and Porta Cappuccini.
Until a few decades ago, yearly on the 28th and 29th June in Galatina, the Tarantate arrived from all of Salento, that is women who had been bitten by tarantulas (in dialect tarante). During this time there was a procession of people dancing, singing on their way to the Chapel of Saint Paul so that they could drink water from the well and be healed by the saint.
In the surrounding territory, one can visit three Basilican crypts, founded by the Basilican monks who arrived in Puglia during the 9th century in escape from religious persecution in the East: Saint Anna in the Piani district; Saint Maria della Porta in the Pisanello district, Saint Maria della Grotta.

GALATINA
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Puglia (Apulia) region of Italy
Processione - Galatina
PROCESSIONE

Notte della Taranta - Galatina
NOTTE DELLA TARANTA

 

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