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The spire of Sant'Oronzo

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The spire of Sant’Oronzo towers over the political heart of the town; it is very tall, about 20 metres high, and has lines tending to Baroque. It was erected by the architect Giuseppe Greco (1740-1807) from Ostuni in 1771, with the effigy of the saint on the top. The column is an ex-voto which was strongly wanted by the worshippers of Ostuni, who wished to thank the saint who protected the town from the plague and the famine of the 18th century. This testimony of everlasting devotion towards their protector is cited in Latin on the drape epigraphic plaques, which are sustained by angels and lie on the first order of each one of the four façades. The following order is crowned by a balustrade with moulded small columns with the statues of San Biagio, Sant’Antonio da Padova, Sant’Irene and San Gregorio Armeno on the four corners; these are all minor patron saints of the town.  The following orders tend to slowly taper off as they proceed to the top, becoming embellished by puttos, cherubs and cartouches. The statue of Sant’Oronzo, shown in a benedictory pose, stands out high up, delicately wrapped in the draping of the bishop's cloak. According to a legend, the statue used to hold a breviary in the right hand, which the Saint apparently threw against the population in order to punish them for the atrocities they were committing.
 
Bibliography
AA.VV. (2000), Guida di Ostuni, Lecce, Lecce, Congedo Editore, 1. ed.
Tanzarella, A. (1989), Ostuni ieri, Fasano, Schena Editore.

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