Spirito Santo's Church

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Outside the old town walls, behind the spire,on the right, at the beginning of Via Roma, stands the small church dedicated to the Holy Spirit. The portal is an authentic treasure of the Renaissance decorative sculpture, and it is in fact a national monument. The lunette bas-relieves on the portal depict the Dormitio Virginis. The Virgin Mary is lying on the bed and she is surrounded by the Twelve Apostles, who are devotedly praying while waiting for the angels who will accompany the Assumption of the Holy Mary towards the Everlasting. The panel above, that is the triangular shaped spandrel, symbol of the Divine Spirit, shows in the centre the Holy Mary surrounded by several small faces. In the corners the Annunciation takes place, on the left angle there is the angel holding the lily, whereas on the opposite one there is the Holy Mary kneeling, as a gesture of thanksgiving. What makes the portal superb, as well as the sculptural decoration, is the succession of floral and decorative motifs which shroud every detail.
The two side pilasters close the facial elevation, with a fragmented spandrel at the top. The date “1637” which can be read on the cusp of the façade, refers to the end of the works started at the beginning of the 17th century on behest of the bishop Vincenzo Meligne, who added its coat of arms.
The interior does not preserve traces of the original 17th century structure; this is because it underwent two restorations in the 20th century, which covered the walls with precious marble, and perhaps hiding old traces.
Among the works of art preserved on the inside, there is the stunning canvas by Jacopo da San Vito depicting the Madonna con Bambino e i Santi Gioacchino, Anna ed Elisabetta. The 17th century wooden statue of sant’Oronzo is preserved in a niche and in another one stands out the dressed statue of the Madonna del Buon Consiglio.

AA.VV. (2000), Guida di Ostuni, Lecce, Lecce, Congedo Editore, 1. ed.
Tanzarella, A. (1989), Ostuni ieri, Fasano (Br), Schena Editore.
Sozzi, A. (2008), Ostuni nella storia, Fasano (Br), Schena Editore.

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