Oria, Apulia

Oria, Apulia
—  Comune  —
Comune di Oria

Coat of arms
Oria is located in Italy
Location of Oria in Italy
Coordinates: 40°30′N 17°38′E / 40.5°N 17.633°E / 40.5; 17.633
Country Italy
Region Apulia
Province Brindisi (BR)
 - Mayor Cosimo Ferretti
 - Total 83 km2 (32 sq mi)
Elevation 83 m (272 ft)
Population (31 December 2007)[1]
 - Total 15,365
 - Density 185.1/km2 (479.5/sq mi)
Demonym Oritani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 72024
Dialing code 0831
Patron saint Barsanuphius of Palestine
Saint day August 29
Website Official website

Oria (or Orra, Greek: Ὑρία - Hyria, Οὐρία - Uria[2]) is a town and comune in the Apulia region, in the province of Brindisi, in southern Italy. It is the see city of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oria.



In classical times, Oria was known as Hyria (Uria) or Hyrium, a city in ancient Messapia and one of the principal Messapian cities. It was located just north of the ancient town Manduria, at some distance southwest of Brundisium, and southeast of Taras/Tarentum; corresponding to the location of the modern town.

A coin from Oria, Roman age, portraying Hercules.

According to Herodotus (7.170), it was founded by the Messapians (who according to Herodotus were originally Cretans) sometime after the abortive siege of the Sicanian city Camicus. Between 217 and 84 BC the city was minting its own coins. The coins often feature Iapagus, the Iapygian national hero.

Hyria was conquered by the Romans. It was destroyed in AD 924 and 977. In 1266, Oria was besieged by Manfred of Sicily.

Main sights

  • Castle, mostly the result of modifications from the early 13th century under Frederick II of Hehenstaufen and, later, under the Angevines, who added two cylindrical tower.
  • Gate of the Jews (Italian: Porta degli Ebrei).
  • Cathedral Basilica, built from 1750 over a pre-existing building damaged by an earthquake. The interior houses numerous paintings from the 17th to the 20th century. The exterior is commanded by the large polychrome dome.
  • Church of St. Domininic, built from 1572. The interior has Baroque paintings, while also notable is the cloister of the annexed convent.
  • Church of St. Francis of Paola (late 16th century).
  • Church of St. John the Baptist, originally built in the 14th century but later included in a large Baroque edifice in the 17th century.
  • Grotto church of Madonna della Scala.
  • Bishop's Palace (16th century)

Jewish presence

Oria had one of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe. Jewish scholarship in Oria included the study of philosophy, the Talmud, languages such as Greek and Latin, and medicine and natural sciences. It was home to Shabbethai Donnolo, one of the first Hebrew writers who was native to Europe.

Ten scholars in the community were killed when Arabs under Abu Ahmad Ja'far ibn 'Ubaid conquered Oria in 925. This was the beginning of the end of Jewish presence in Oria; the last relic was an epitaph produced in 1035. It is likely, however, that Jews were living in Oria until the fifteen century.

People from Oria

Jewish scholar and writer Shabbethai Donnolo was born in Oria in 913.

The neoclassisictic writer Francesco Milizia was born in Oria in 1725.

Twin cities


  1. ^ Population from ISTAT
  2. ^ Strabo: Geographica II

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oria — may refer to: Places Italy Oria, Apulia, a town in the Apulia region, Province of Brindisi Oria, Lombardy, a village in the municipality of Valsolda, in the Province of Como Spain Oria, Spain, a municipality in the Province of Almería, Andalusia… …   Wikipedia

  • APULIA — APULIA, region in southern Italy, including Calabria until the late Middle Ages. According to an ancient tradition the communities in bari , oria , otranto , and taranto were established by captives deported from Judea by titus . The constitution …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Oria — • Diocese near Brindisi in Italy Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Oria     Diocese of Oria     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • ORIA — ORIA, small town near Brindisi in Apulia, S. Italy, formerly of great importance. The Jewish settlement probably went back to classical times, and Jewish sepulchral inscriptions have been found there. During the period of Byzantine rule, from the …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Oria, Italy — Infobox CityIT img coa = Oria stemma.png official name = Comune di Oria region = Apulia province = Brindisi (BR) elevation m = 83 area total km2 = 83 population as of = december 31, 2004 population total = 15414 population density km2 = 184… …   Wikipedia

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  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Oria — The Italian Catholic diocese of Oria is in Apulia. It is a suffragan of the archdiocese of Taranto.[1] History It would appear that Oria, in early times, had bishops of its own, because there is a record on a slab in the cathedral, dating from… …   Wikipedia

  • Messapii — Messapians redirects here. For other uses, see Messapian (disambiguation). Ancient Italic tribes within the Italian peninsula.   Ligures …   Wikipedia

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