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Canosa di Puglia - Mausoloei di Boemondi | by Martin M. Miles - is on the road again
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Canosa di Puglia - Mausoloei di Boemondi

Legends tell, that the Homeric hero Diomedes founded "Canusion", the town existed already in early Etrscian times and later became a Greek polis. In Roman times it was a colony and had a large amphitheatre. End of the 3rd century it was the capital of Apulia and Calabria.

 

Bishops are known here already in the 4th century, when one of them took part in a Council. The area suffered from Muslim invasions and got completely destroyed in 844. Rebuilding took place a century later, It was under Lombardian rule until the Norman conquest and the establishement of the Kingdom of Sicily.

 

The Cathedral of San Sabino was founded in the 8th century by the Lombards. When it was comleted in 1101 it was named after St. Sabinus of Canosa in 1101. It was an example of Romanesque/Byzantine style.

 

The "Mausoleum of Bohemond" was built after 1111 against the right wall of the cathedral´s transept. It hold the remains of Bohemond I of Antioch, son of Robert Guiscard and Prince of Taranto and Antioch. He was on of the leaders of the First Crusade.

 

The rectangular mausoleum has an upper part characterized by a polygonal drum and a hemispherical dome. Originally the dome was hidden by a pyramidal cover. Scholars concur, that the construction of the mausoleum reveals the influence of Islamic models, in particular Antiochian shrines.

 

The mausoleum is known for its finely crafted bronze door. The leaves of the door are distinct is size, style and technique of execution. The left leaf, cast in a single piece, is decorated by three discs. Here is the center disc of the left leave. The lion head, that once probably held a ring, is surrounded by ornaments, that to me look "kufic".

 

 

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Taken in October 2019