©2020 Heiner Sträßer
on the Piazza Basilica in front of the Cathedral in Otranto
Otranto, in the south of Apulia, is a small town with a long history. As early as the middle of the 2nd millennium BC, relations with Greece can be proven. After Greek colonization, Roman conquest and later membership of Byzantium, Otranto became Norman in 1070. The then existing castle had to be repaired and strengthened. It was given its present appearance under Alfons II of Naples from 1481 onwards, after Otranto was the first city on Italian soil to be conquered by the Ottomans the year before. The construction of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata began in 1080 and was completed about 80 years later. A floor mosaic with a surface area of more than 1500m² also dates from this period.