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Apulian art lives above all in its rocks from which skilled stone-cutters have drawn works of excellent workmanship. Over the centuries, the succession of different rules has influenced art through a wide-ranging mixture of art genres that were skilfully exploited by local masters, who set the stage for a definitely unique style that lives in the chisel work of the goldsmith's art as well as in the architectural features of buildings, castles and churches.
The simplicity and, at the same time, the richness of these places, often built very close one to another, testify not only to the will to leave an indelible mark on the territory, but also a symbolic link between these people and the divine world. Hence in Trani we can visit the grand Frederick's castle built along the shore to defend the city and not far from the Cathedral, standing on the ruins of another Basilica devoted to Virgin Mary whose plan is still preserved, which strikes the eye owing to the shining white of its stones.
Another great example of the grand simplicity of Apulian art is Castel del Monte. Built at the request of Frederick II, this castle is marked by an octagonal plan whose history is shrouded in mystery. The castle was originally built as a hunting lodge, but the obsessive repetition of number 8 and its peculiar building criteria, have made people believe that it was meant for more obscure purposes, such as for example guarding the legendary Holy Grail, the cup used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper.

From the Basilica of S. Nicola in Bari, temple of great spirituality and common ground between Eastern and Western cults, we reach Ostuni where the Cathedral stands over the whitewashed houses of the small village clung to the hill, in a unique reinterpretation that marries the Spartan Romanesque style to the flamboyant Baroque.
Since the 14th century, the very Baroque has become the ultimate expression of Apulian art and architecture. Think about Martina Franca with its Palazzo Ducale and, more in general, the Salento whose richness and preciosity of the painstaking works made by skilled stone-cutters is epitomised by the city of Lecce. Besides, we recall the clear Byzantine influence visible in this region and in the city of Otranto in particular. As the furthermost Eastern gate, Otranto was gallantly defended by the continuing attacks by the Turks thanks to the grand stronghold that stands over the port of the city whose shape recalls the bow of a ship cutting through the waves.