Foggia - Encyclopedia




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FOGGIA, a town and episcopal see (since 1855) of Apulia, Italy, the capital of the province of Foggia, situated 243 ft. above sea level, in the centre of the great Apulian plain, 201 m. by rail S.E. of Ancona and 123 m. N.E. by E. of Naples. Pop. (1901) town, 49,031; commune, 53, 1 34. The name is probably derived from the pits or cellars (foveae) in which the inhabitants store their grain. The town is the medieval successor of the ancient Arpi, 3 m. to the N.; the Normans, after conquering the district from the Eastern empire, gave it its first importance. The date of the erection of the cathedral is probably about 1179; it retains some traces of Norman architecture, and the facade has a fine figured cornice by Bartolommeo da Foggia; the crypt has capitals of the 11th (?) century. The whole church was, however, much altered after the earthquake of 1731. A gateway of the palace of the emperor Frederick II. (1223, by Bartolommeo da Foggia) is also preserved. Here died his third wife, Isabella, daughter of King John of England. Charles of Anjou died here in 1284. After his son's death, it was a prey to internal dissensions and finally came under Alphonso I. of Aragon, who converted the pastures of the Apulian plain into a royal domain in 1445, and made Foggia the place at which the tax on the sheep was to be paid and the wool to be sold. The other buildings of the town are modern. Foggia is a commercial centre of some importance for the produce of the surrounding country, and is also a considerable railway centre, being situated on the main line from Bologna to Brindisi, at the point where this is joined by the line from Benevento and Caserta. There are also branches to Rocchetta S. Antonio (and thence to either Avellino, Potenza, or Gioia del Colle), to Manfredonia, and to Lucera.

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