Archaeological Park of Siponto
The archaeological area of the Siponto Park is of great importance as it witnesses the importance reached by the ancient Siponto in Roman times , after the establishment of the colony in 194 BC. An archaeological area of great importance which testifies to the importance achieved by the ancient Siponto in Roman times (colony from 194 BC), when it assumed the role of one of the main ports of the Regio II and then became the seat of one of the most important dioceses in the region. After the swamping of the port and two violent earthquakes, in 1223 and 1255, Siponto was abandoned and the inhabitants moved to the nascent city founded by the son of Emperor Frederick II of Swabia , King Manfredi (second half of the 13th century), called Manfredonia or, under the subsequent Angevin dominion, Sypontum Novellum . The remains of the early Christian basilica with three naves with a central apse and a mosaic floor remind us that Siponto was the seat of one of the most important dioceses in the region. Precious mosaic floors relating to the construction phase of the basilica (4th century AD) and its restructuring, which took place in the following century, are visible inside the Medieval Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The Medieval Basilica , built between the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century , is one of the cornerstones of Apulian Romanesque architecture . It has the shape of a cube topped in the center by a small dome and a crypt with entrance from the outside. Between the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century it underwent numerous renovations. For the construction and architectural decoration, materials from the older Siponto (columns, capitals) were reused. The portal with an archivolt supported by two columns resting on the back of a lion is valuable. Starting from 2016, in the Archaeological Park of Siponto, the project "Where art reconstructs time" was created, an innovative installation in wire mesh by the young Lombard artist Edoardo Tresoldi that recalls, in the forms, the last phase of ancient early Christian basilica. Made up of 4,500 meters of electro-welded galvanized mesh, the basilica of wire mesh is 14 meters high and weighs around seven tons in all. The courageous choice to make archeology and contemporary art dialogue is part of an overall vision of landscape understood in its temporal complexity between testimonies of the past and actuality of the present.