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CASTELLANA GROTTE

Stands on the calcareous plateau of the south-eastern Murge and belongs to the tourist district of caves and trulli, situated on the edge of a karst depression, in a zone characterized by dolines, lamas (valleys), grottoes, ponors and chasms. In the vicinity of the town, less than 1 km far, there are the famous Grottoes of Castallana, karst caves which were discovered in 1938 by Franco Anelli and Vito Matarrese, which are the main tourist attraction of the zone. Castellana was founded in the Early Middle Ages thanks to the colonization started by the St. Benedict Monastery in Conversano, as reported for the first time in documents of the X century, precisely a parchment of 901. Its official foundation year is 1171, when Abbot Eustasio donated the Saint Magnus church and the surrounding lands, with good vassalage conditions, to two Otranto’s inhabitants, Nicola and Costa, in order to repopulate the area of existing houses. In mid-1400, Castellana and the Conversano county made up the dowry of Caterina Orsini married to Giulio Antonio Acquaviva, duke of Atri. From then on a strong development of the town began. In 1691 Castellana was affected by a terrible plague epidemic disease. According to the tradition, the town was eventually saved thanks to the intervention of the Madonna of the Vetrana. Over the years the surrounding territory sharply changed and the woods were replaced by the vineyards and wheat fields. The wild deforestation caused floods, which made severe damages to things and people. This emergency was solved in with the 1913 by building the rainwater Canalone (big canal). In 1938 the town was subjected to a tourist turn, thanks to the discovery of the grottoes by professor Franco Anelli with the collaboration of Vito Matarrese (who will later discover the White Grotto by himself). In 1950 the name of the town was changed from Castellana to Castellana Grotte, to pay tribute to the discovery. Places to see: Church Matrix Saint Leo the Great, Sanctuary of Most Blessed Mary Maria of the Vetrana, St. Francis of Assisi Church, The Grottoes.

Castellana Grotte
Info

Tourist Office
T. +39 080 4900206

Tourist Office
T. +39 080 4900217 - +39 080 4900218

Tourist Office
Via Marconi, 9
T. +39 080 4900236

Tourist Office
Via Conversano, 86
T. +39 334 7588112
http://www.castellanagrottelife.it

PM

Town Police
T. +39 080 4965014