Monte Sant’Angelo: what to see Gargano Shrine


What to see in Monte Sant’Angelo, in Puglia in Gargano in the province of Foggia, where the shrine dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel.

Guide Monte Sant’Angelo

Monte Sant’Angelo is part of the Gargano National Park and has been listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, as it is a significant example of the religious history of the Lombards of the Duchy of Benevento, as evidenced by the many inscriptions that pilgrims as they left their mark in some quarters of the Sanctuary, dating back to VII-IX century. The village is located about 800 meters above sea level overlooking the Gulf of Manfredonia, in the south of the Gargano promontory.

What to visit in Monte Sant’Angelo

The old town of Monte Sant’Angelo is dominated by the castle on which stands the pentagonal tower called the Tower of the Giants. The building bears witness, through extensive renovation work and restoration, the passage of dominations Norman, Swabian, Angevin and Aragonese. To visit the shrine built on earlier works, in the thirteenth century by Charles I of Anjou. The cave where the Archangel Michael appeared to be reached through the Angevin staircase consists of 86 steps and divided into 5 ramps leading from the atrium top to the bottom of the Basilica, where are the crypts.
The steeple of the Basilica, originally a watchtower built by Frederick II, was transformed into Bell in 1274, commissioned by Charles I of Anjou, as a thank you to St. Michael for the conquest of southern Italy. Near the Basilica is the church of San Pietro, characterized by a beautiful rosette perforated. The complex includes the remains of the town’s oldest church dedicated to St. Peter, which remains only the apse of the Romanesque period. Inside is the Baptistery of San Giovanni in Tumba, known and erroneously called “Tomb of Rotari”, to the right of which is the entrance leading to the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, a splendid example of Apulian Romanesque.

Sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo sul Gargano
Its history is linked to the cult of St. Michael the Archangel, who in the fifth century appeared in a cave to the Bishop of Siponto to Gargano. With the Lombard dynasty, around the middle of the seventh century, the place became a shrine, visited by a large number of pilgrims, who came through the route of the Via Sacra Langobardorum that led to the Holy Land. Monte Sant’Angelo to the east, Mont St. Michel to the north, the Sacra di San Michele in the Alps, were the main places of worship of St. Michael the Archangel, located at the outposts of ancient Christianity.

Abbey of Santa Maria di Pulsano
At about 8 km from Monte Sant’Angelo is the Abbey of Santa Maria di Pulsano, ancient history. The abbey, founded originally dates back to the sixth century, in its present form, which were severely damaged by the earthquake in 1646, was built for the Blessed Joel, third Abbot General of the monks Pulsanesi (1145-1177), on top of the hill Pulsano, overlooking the Gulf of Manfredonia, in a very picturesque natural landscape, among rocks and cliffs, where there are also 24 hermitages connected by a network of narrow streets and steep paths, which are in a state of semi-abandonment, but that the Fai, Italian Environment Fund, plans to restore and enhance.

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