St Mark's Church and district

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Towards north, near the Fasano wood, about 5 kilometres far from Locorotondo, there is St Mark’s district, one of the countless country districts of Locorotondo, a densely populated area with a developed and well-organized community life. The small church of St Mark is situated in the hearth of the district. Long ago, this was the area of the farmhouse of Santa Maria di Cignano, with a small church devoted to St Mary Magdalene. Around 1678 the bishop of Monopoli ordered a new church devoted to St mark to be built on the site where the previous church was. The church has a “tao” plan (an upturned T). The two transepts are of different age, because the church underwent some enlargements over the last centuries. The left transept is the older one and is marked by stone arches and by deep niches on the right. At the end of the wall there is a built-in altar and in the floorsome trap doors reveal that a burial ground may have been there in ancient times. According to some historians, this transept was the original church that was then enlargened with two more branches changing the building orientation too. On the outside the building is covered by the typical “a cummerse” roof, made with the chiancarelle (small slab stones) in accordance with the building technique of the trulloes. A ribbed bell tower with a stone cross rises above the tympanum of the façade. Outside the church there is a large square which covers a huge cistern of rainwater used by the farmers during a dry spell. Far from the old church one can see the new church of St Mark with the very high dome tiled with chiancarelle.

Road signs indicate the way to the district from the town. The old church is closed.

Liuzzi, G. – De Michele, V. – Cordasco, P. (1990) Ricerca per una storia di Locorotondo, numero monografico, Fasano, Graphischena.

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