Born as a Norman-Swabian castle destroyed by a popular uprising in 1414, after the Spanish siege of 1529 by the will of the King of Spain Charles V the castle together with the walls are rebuilt in 1552, the castle under Spanish rule takes on the role of representation of central power, while the walls take on the role of defense. In 1831 with Francis I, King of the Two Sicilies, transformed the castle into a prison with the presence of prison cells. The prison was closed in 1969 and remained in a state of abandonment until the '80s. At present it has been restored having the function of cultural container and museum of itself.
Church of San Salvatore, whose construction dates back to 313 A.D. thanks to the contribution of Emperor Constantine. The had the function of parish from 1573 to 1921, after having been abandoned and sacked several times.
Church of the twelfth century, belonged at the beginning to the family Del Lago, and currently still, private property, currently preserves a painting depicting the Holy.Largo S.Giovanni - Inside the largo there is the church of San Giovanni, 1300; and the Ospedale Gerosolimitano that remind us how Monopoli was an important seat of the Knights of Malta.
The square considered the oldest in the city. Palace built at the end of the eighteenth century, in late Baroque style. The palace between 1960 and 1990, was the seat of the State Institute of Art. On Piazza Palmieri dominates the bell tower of SS.Pietro e Paolo, realized in the XVIII century on an ancient sighting tower, while the actual church of S.Pietro e Paolo was built in the XVI century, after the one of 329 A.D. and the medieval one in Romanesque style. Currently closed for security reasons.
The church was built in 1745 by the engineer Mauro Manieri from Lecce, in late baroque style. Inside there are a series of paintings of the XVI and XXVII century of Venetian and Neapolitan school. The former Benedictine Monastery, of sixteenth-century origin, was confiscated by the state after the Unification of Italy, was the seat of some schools and currently has no intended use.
Going up via Argento we find on our right the Church of S.Maria del Sufragio, commonly called "Purgatorio"; built in 1668 eighteen years after it was seriously damaged by the collapse of the bell tower of the Romanesque Cathedral, the church was completed in 1716. The church inside is in classical baroque style, with a strong use of Lecce stone. Very interesting is the wooden door, on which are carved in a symbolic way all the trades from bottom to top for social importance, whose difference is equalized to death, allegorically represented by two skeletons.
The Cathedral Maria SS. Della Madia, realized from 1742 to 1772, in late baroque style; the church goes to replace the Romanesque church of the XII century, considered inadequate "to the grown people". Built by two "master masons engineers" Michele Colangiulli of Acquaviva and Pietro Magarelli of Molfetta. The Cathedral has 3 naves 64 m long, enriched with a series of chapels, some of which are embellished with paintings, oil on canvas, such as the "Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament", the "Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel", or the "Chapel of St. James Campostella", and others.
Of great interest is the upper chapel, dated 1675, believed to be of Venetian school. Inside the raised chapel we find "the triumph", that is the altar raised by four columns of green marble, on high pedestals; that raises an altar on which there is a Romanesque icon, model then of many Byzantine madonnas in Apulia,
the Madonna della Madia (madonna of the raft), a canvas arrived in the port of Monopoli on a raft on December 16, 1117 and since then became the protector of the city.
The rocky villages, generally extensions of natural cavities, historically developed between the ninth and sixteenth centuries, were of the type "wall", related to the geological conformation of a very friable territory for the abundant presence of calcarenitic tuff. The rock church of the Madonna del Soccorso is one of the 24 rock churches present on the territory of Monopoli and one of the few present in the center of the country; internally the church is divided into two environments: the naos for the faithful and the bema reserved for the clergy and, on the walls, you can still see a fresco depicting a "Madonna and Child" of the thirteenth century unfortunately ruined by moisture due to outcrops of brackish water.
In 1059, according to tradition, some sailors from Amalfi, having escaped a storm, came down to pray in a cave of monacacibasiliani near the cliff where they had landed. To the monks they manifested the intention to make in the cave a sanctuary and to fulfill so the vow made to the Madonna. One hundred years later, when the presence of this colony had greater weight in the city grew, the Amalfitans erected on the underground temple the Romanesque basilica, that the restorations in this century have brought to light. The facade remains that of the eighteenth century, but the interior has been returned to the arches and columns of the ancient harmony. Currently, the crypt still presents the immersion baptismal font.
The civic tower with a polygonal plan presents, ingoblata in the inferior part, the "column of the infamous" where they were tied those who had to be submitted to public humiliation.
On the rock church of Madonna del Soccorso we find the church of San Domenico dating back to the sixteenth century with annexed the former convent of the Dominicans; the facade of the church is in Renaissance style, where the main themes of salvation are collected: through "the passion" of Christ crowned with thorns; the Virgin with Jesus in her lap "the incarnation" and at the top of the gable "the resurrection" through the statue of Jesus; fantastic the rose window with petals.
On the sacristy of the church of S. Domenico there is the bell tower of the Church of SS. Giuseppe and Anna with the annexed Monastery of the Monacelle founded in 1616, this Monastery housed 33 cloistered nuns, number coinciding with the years of Christ. The Monastery was closed in 1845 because of an insufficient number of nuns. The church was deconsecrated in the '50s and since then is in a state of abandonment.