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The church of St Mary with chain

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The Church, also called “Our Lady with chain” or “of the Crucified” is placed about 800 metres far from the built-up area on the road leading to Locorotndo wine growers’ cooperative and then to Alberobello. Towards the end of the 19th century the previous building collapsed owing to the poor static condition and in 1897 it was rebuilt on the late lady Angela Sforza’s money (as a memorial tablet testifies).
Tradition has it that the original church was built on a cave whose interior kept an icon of the Holy Virgin with chain. A record dating back to the beginning of the 17th century reports that a man had dreamed that an image of the Blessed Virgin would be found under some stones in a place not very far from Locorotondo. The man’s obstinacy persuaded the dean at the time to dig there. After dislodging some rocks, a cave was found but anyway there were no religious images in it. In spite of this, the common people were given to understand that an old church had been found; the place was made to become so popular that it was thought it right to build a church on the cave. In 1600 as the architrave reports, close to the cave church, a hospice was built. The building even though decrepit, still stands beside the church keeping its original architectural planning. The existing church has a very simple façade marked by gentle vertical and horizontal mouldings and by two empty niches. The interior has a greek-cross plan and is adorned with stucco decorations. On the high altar the papier-machè statue of the Virgin with chain can be admired, on the right side one the two Doctor Saints are venerated.

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The church is open to the public. Easy to get to, the entrance is at ground level.

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