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In the heart of the historical centre, in the town centre, near Piazza del Popolo, you can reach the Byzantine Church of St. Peter’s, going up a small staircase.
A small pearl. Beautiful. Entirely frescoed, the church of San Pietro is a precious testimony to the Byzantine dominion in the Land of ôOtranto.
The sacred building is the first basilica in the city, elected metropolis in 960 and dependent on the patriarchal seat of Constantinople.
His dating has been the subject of a long debate among scholars, but analyzing the structure, frescoes and inscriptions in ancient Greek, all seems to date back to the ninth-Xth century.
The square Greek cross-shaped plan is part of the strict canons of Byzantine religious architecture.
Inside, the three small naves are surmounted by a central dome, supported by four columns.
On each of the three apses, arranged at the bottom, there are splendid frescoes in Byzantine style dating from the X and XVI century.
The oldest paintings are the Lavender of the Feet, which depicts the kneeling Christ while lifting the leg of St. Peter, and the Last Supper.
To the fourteenth century belong the Nativity, Pentecost and Resurrection.
The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple and the different figures of the Saints date back to the 16th century.
Small legend: it is said that St. Peter is passed by Otranto.

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