Ceglie Messapica is an enchanting city situated on a hill around 11 kilometers south of Ostuni. It takes its name from the ancient messapico settlement of Caelia. This settlement were stationed in this territory from IV to the III centuries A.C.
Protected by a wall spanning 5 kilometers around its perimeter, the acropolis controlled the whole zone beneath it.
The medieval city is today the historic center of the town. It was once the center of economic trade in the area.
Today traces of oriental influences can still be found. The more important monument in its history is the Castello Ducale of the family Sanseverino (XV century). The castle was built around an ancient Normandy tower, the now symbol of the city. Of religious and architectural importance is the Chiesa Madre. It was consecrated from the cult of the Assumption Virgin Mary. It was originally erected in 1521 and restructured in the late 1700s.
The characteristic of the countryside is marked by the trulli and the so-called specchie. These specchie are megalith bones found within overlapping limestone slabs which are associated with funeral practices. These practices attest to the origins of the citizens of the Messapica.
Three kilometres from the habited city center towards Francavilla Fontana, rises the Crypt of St. Michael. This church was decorated in byzantine style dating back to XIV century
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