Did you know that Salento is land of pilgrimages well? If you are faithful or interested in knowing every aspect of this land, just keep reading.
In Oria, near Brindisi, there is the oldest and most famous sanctuary of Salento: San Cosimo alla Macchia, dedicated to the cult of Santi Medici (the martyrs Cosmas and Damian who became saints because they used to practice medicine without pay).
Located in the open countryside, about 5 km from Oria, the sanctuary preserves the relics of the two saints, that’s why it is the destination of pilgrimage from all over Puglia.
The monumental complex was born on the remains of a small church founded by the Basilian monks in the ninth century. The complex was originally connected to a medieval village that has now disappeared.
The church has undergone profound changes over the centuries to become today a center with facilities and services able to respond to the needs of the faithful.
The current building has structural and decorative elements introduced from the 18th to the 20th century. The sanctuary, with a sober appearance, is surrounded by greenery and by a refined portico for outdoor celebrations. On the top of the tympanum you can admire the statue of Christ the Redeemer, by Luigi Guacci, an artist from Lecce.
At the inside, there are numerous votive offerings and a room dedicated to the ethnographic museum, about Salento history and rural tradition.
Near the church, there are: the Curia, hosting the seminary, an outdoor church for summer and spring celebrations and a huge parking lot with palm trees.
The main celebrations, called “Pirdunanzi”, are in the fifth week after Easter.
In some villages of Salento, in the past, the devoted used to get prepared for the pilgrimage by organizing themselves in two groups: ones used to go on foot, leaving in the night, and those, who had horses, used to leave early in the morning. Then, they used to visit the market-fair in order to buy typical objects.
If you are planning to visit the Sanctuary or if you are thinking about an holiday at the sea for this summer and you don’t want to miss the trip at the Sanctuary, we recommend you to stay in this beautiful villa with swimming pool and other comforts, ideal for two families or a group of friends.