MODUGNO

Not too far from Bari, in the hinterland from the Adriatic coast, is where one can visit Modugno, which takes its name from the Latin Medunium, that is, a half way road between Bari and Bitonto, along Via Traiana.

It was founded during the High Medieval period, more precisely during Byzantine domination, when it was a simple peasant village along Via Traiana. It was known by the name of Pagus Medùgenus and was concentrated around the small S. Maria di Modugno or of the Assumption Church (8th-9th Centuries).
During the 10th Century, it experienced Saracen raids, who were now owners of Bari, and who made the inhabitants seek refuge in the Longobard towers situated in the Motta locality.
During the 11th Century, the Norman arrival changed the ownership of property belonging to the diocese. From Byzantine it passed under administration by the Roman Popes. In this context, Modugno appeared in some papal documents (1062-1089) as belonging to the diocese of Bari.
Under the Swabians (13th Century) the feudatory of Modugno passed first to the Costa Family (1212) and then the Chyurlia Family.
The arrival of the Angioini saw Modugno return to the diocese of Bari (1269) and subsequent fortification of the Ecolo district (1349) by the orders of Archbishop Bartolomeo Carafa.
In 1440, Modugno became a feudatory of the Orsini del Balzo Family, already Princes of Taranto.
Modugno then became a Sforza of Milan possession, and enjoyed a period of development and intellectual fervour.
After the Franco-Spanish war for domination of the Reign of Naples, concluding with the Battle of Cerignola (1504), the victorious Spanish gave the feudatory to Isabella of Aragona, already Princess of Bari. Her daughter Bona Sforza succeeded her (1521), who governed the feudatory from Poland, where she had married King Sigismondo. During this time, Modugno saw its maximum splendour.
On her death (1557), the feudatory passed to the Spanish Crown and Filippo II, who sold it to Ansaldo Grimaldi in 1581. But the City proudly extinguished the feudal yoke through a payment of 40.000 ducats (1582).
Spanish domination (16th Century), coincided for all of Southern Italy with the beginning of economic decline due to pestilence and deep fiscal depression, which led to the revolts by the population everywhere during the 17th Century
The Bourbon government (1734-1860, excluding the Napoleonic period 1799-1815), saw Modugno become a state monopoly enjoying fiscal privileges. Most of the monuments present in the City today, come from this period.
The events leading to the Republic of Naples (1806-1815) experience, largely shared by the inhabitants of Modugno, saw the City live a period of siege by Sanfediste troops who were loyal to the Monarchy (10th March 1799).
Bourbon rule returned (1816), whilst in Modugno a decision was made to demolish the City walls (3rd December 1820). This was during the Carbonari (An association which promoted independent ideas) motions, to which the City adhered.
Despite the ferocious repression of the government, the historical course had now initiated and culminated in annexation of the Reign of the Two Sicilies to the Reign of Italy in 1861.
The subsequent phase was characterised by the Brigandage phenomenon, which was fiercely repressed by the monarchy.
The First World War was lived by Modugno with a tribute to more than 100 inhabitants killed, whilst only a few less were victims during the Second World War (1940-43).
In 1946, after the Institutional Referendum, the Reign of Italy adopted the Republican system.
Things to see in the City: the Annunziata Matrix Church, the Purgatorio Church (700), the Immaculate Church (1585) and just outside the habitation S. Agostino (1608) and the S. Maria delle Grotte Church containing frescoes, where tradition states that the Patron of Molfetta, San Corrado of Baviera, died.
Close to Modugno (3km), one can also visit Balsignano, a small Medieval suburb with City walls, a Castle and precious churches in its interior.

MODUGNO
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