The small Italian town of Manfredonia lies on Italy’s Adriatic coast, about 35 minutes northeast of the city of Foggia.
Quick History of ManfredoniaThe earliest settlers of what is currently Manfredonia were believed to have been Greeks. Just after 200 BCE, the area was absorbed by the then growing Roman Empire and developed into a semi-important port town. It remained so for the good part of a millennium until it was conquered and destroyed by Slavic tribes in 663.
The town started to come back to life around 1042 when the Normans made it an administrative center. This though didn’t last long as the town’s water supply began to stagnate, bringing disease and causing death for many. Also in 1223, a powerful earthquake struck the area and caused further havoc.
What is today the modern city of Manfredonia was built by King Manfred of Sicily between the years 1256–1263. The town was overrun several times by Italian, French and other European rulers until it was sacked and essentially destroyed in 1620 by Ottoman Turks. Surprisingly, the castle and it’s walls were left intact.
Manfredonia TodayManfredonia today is a bustling seaside town of nearly 60,000. It’s like many of its Italian cousins in the region, it contains historic buildings, an old port and a small, local beach. However the main attraction here is Castello Svevo Aragonese, or the Aragonese Castle.
Built in 1279, the castle once served as a major fortress for several of the region’s rulers. It’s quite well maintained and one can walk along the castle’s ramparts, battlements and old armory. Within the walls of the castle, there’s a very interesting and informative archaeological museum.
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