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    The basilica cathedral of Maria Santissima Assunta is the cathedral church of Nardò, in the province of Lecce. Located in the historic center of the Salento city, since 1879 it is a national monument and in 1980, during the episcopacy of Antonio Rosario Mennonna, it was elevated to a minor basilica. The cathedral is probably located on the site of the ancient church of Sancta Maria de Neritorio, founded by some oriental monks who escaped iconoclastic persecution in the seventh century. The Cenobio, dedicated to Our Lady of Assumption, has been present since 1088. The body of the building was modified over the centuries, starting from 1354 when Abbot Azzolino De Nestore reconstructed the façade, collapsed after a earthquake, and stretched The nave with two chapels per part, thus creating the two aisles. Other consolidations were carried out in the first half of the fifteenth century, probably after the earthquake of 1456, until the reconstruction of the façade in 1725, under the bishopric of Antonio Sanfelice, by architect Ferdinando Sanfelice, brother of the Bishop, who must also Many reconstruction works of the interior in the style of the era (baptism 1728). Lastly, the actual appearance of the factory is due to the restoration and restoration works carried out between 1892 and 1899, bringing the church to its most classic appearance. The basilic basilica is divided into three aisles, with two orders of sixth and sixth high arches, supported by rectangular columns, half-colonized: the columns and walls are frescoed with thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth-century works, including The icons of San Nicola (early 14th century), Sant'Agostino (late 14th century), Cristo Pantocratore (late 12th century), Madonna and Child (attributed to the Angevin period in the early 14th century) and the triptych of San Nicola , Madonna with Child and Maddalena (ca. 1390), Our Lady of Health (1234, author Bajlardo). At the far end of the central nave is the main altar with choruses with walnut stalks, embellished in 1590 by Monsignor Fabio Fornari. Of great importance is the 12th century wooden Crucifix called the Black Christ for the particular dark coloring of cedar wood. The other walls of the nave and the sails of the vault on the altar were frescoed between 1896 and 1899 by Cesare Maccari and in the same period the major altar was rebuilt on the model of Romanesque cibori. The Baroque period dates back to the altar of the Sermons of the Purgatory (Placido Buffelli di Alessano, 1688), the altar of San Michele Arcangelo (1647, with a piece attributed to Francesco Solimena) and the Chapel of San Gregorio Armeno (Buffelli, altar of 1680 , St. Gregory of Pietro Locatelli, late seventeenth century). The belfry, with a remarkable medieval work up to the penultimate floor, is decorated on the cantons by a zigzag pattern, characteristic of the Angevin period and on three sides by carved shapes dating to the end of the 14th century. Wikipedia Source