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History of Bari

Between the Adriatic sea and the Ofanto, in a large quadrilateral area included between the territories of Daunia and Salento’s soglia messapica, the Land of Bari is composed of a series of steps which in time have created the Murge and the gentle slopes leading to the sea. Bari and its province developed thanks to the resources coming from the Adriatic sea, throughtrade and the relations to the Eastern Mediterranean, and from the hills characterising the karst territory thanks to agriculture and cattle breeding. The territory still maintains the signs of the activities of human beings and time: in the whole plateau, not exceeding 700 metres of altitude, kilometres of dry walls mark the boundaries of private estates interspersed with trulli, wonderful Romanesque cathedrals which have reached their highest development here, and the beautiful castles, in particular those of the time of Frederick II. Mention must be made of the National Park of Alta Murgia.

The chief town of the Region is between the provinces of Foggia and Brindisi. The plains stretch almost entirely along the coast and only briefly touch upon the Murgia Barese. The town is in the shape of a bird with open wings, whose head forms the nucleus of Bari Vecchia, the old town. Bari was annexed to the Roman Empire in the third century before Christ and over the ages was an Arab Emirate and conquered by Longobards, Bizantines andSaracens. Once the base of the Roman Empire’s fleet for the Orient, the urban structure of the old town is arranged around the catapan court. After the remains of Saint Nicholas were stolen and the homonymous Basilica was built, Bari became a major centre of Christianity and a convenient place the Crusades could leave from and return to from the Orient.

Ruled by Normans, Angevins, Aragons and the Spanish, the town first expanded outside of the old one in 1813 when work started on the new town.
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