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History of the city

/History of the city
History of the city2018-07-09T18:47:37+00:00

History of the city

The hamlet Santa Maria de Fajano , former name of  the city of Fasano, was probably built in 1068 after the destruction of Egnazia, the ancient Messapian city conquered by Romans, that played an important role due to its strategic location as a bridge toward the East and one of the most important stops along the historical Route Appia-Traiana.

The very first settlement was located in an area called “fogge”, a  sort of  pit where waters coming from the hill drained away and where were hunted phases , a kind of wild pigeon emblem of our city together with the Maltese cross.
For over seven centuries Fasano was linked to the events that regarded the Abbey of Saint Stephen owned by the Cistercian Benedictines. It was built in 1088 near the city of Monopoli  by Geoffrey the Elder, count of Conversano and nephew of Robert Guiscard. Also the hamlet Puteofaceto, the present Pozzo Faceto, was a feud of the abbey, its  importance is due to the presence of the sanctuary dedicated to our patron saint: the Madonna del Pozzo (Our Lady of the Well).

Thanks to some unrests in the Benedictine community the Knights Hospitaller, after become Knights of Malta, seized the abbey and all its feuds, Fasano included, in 1314. The village received much prestige and many privileges thanks to the close contact with the Holy See but it had to give up because of the claims of bishops of Monopoli that wanted to subject it to their jurisdiction.

Fasano had the shape of a rectangle, there were a wall and four towers but only the southern one has survived, in Via San Francesco. In the second half of the 16th century a significant population increase was recorded, so that the city expanded beyond the walls marking a distinction between the curvier trend of the alleys in the original nucleus and the straight lines of the new city.
In this period have been built both the Mother Church, on the ruins of an ancient temple, and the Balial palace characterized by a magnificent lodge after shot down in order to modify the façade of the present City Hall. Under the Spanish domination times were hard because of misery and pestilences that troubled people: in that context, in 1670, Turks besieged Fasano imprisoning and enslaving the mayor Giuseppe Brandi. On the 2nd June 1678 the population of Fasano fought in order to defend its houses, families and faith. According to the legend the Virgin appeared in the sky leading the citizens resistance, the victory was such memorable that the historical event is reenacted every year with the Scamiciata, a commemorative parade during the festival in honor of the patron saints of the town, Saint John the Baptist and Our Lady of Pozzo Faceto.

In 1799 Fasano  paid its tribute to the Neapolitan Republic thanks to Ignazio Ciaia, a local young intellectual after whom the main square is named. He was one of the triumvirs heading the fortunes of the Republic in Naples before being executed.

On 3rd July 1953 the town acquired the degree of city. Nowadays Fasano is a tourist destination, characterized by a great farming and craftsmanship tradition. Thanks to the particularity of its territory there are many accommodations got  in typical Apulian buildings: the ancient masserie.