The imposing building that delimits Piazza Vittorio Veneto on the west side is the ancient Convent of the Annunciation, completed in 1748 as the new seat of the Dominican cloistered nuns. The building was built just outside the “Porta Maggiore” also called “della Bruna”, demolished in 1820, in the “Fontana della Torre” district, where the nuns owned a vegetable garden. The original project, drawn up in 1734 by Vito Valentino di Bitonto, was completed by Mauro Manieri di Nardò, an architect very active in the Lecce Baroque.
The facade of the building develops on two orders, and is punctuated by a series of string courses and arches, the last series of which show the background of the sky and hide a roof garden which houses a cafe from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view, that goes from the view of the square and the hypogea, to the stones and shoulders, as far as the eye can see, the Murgic plateau. The central arch hides a church, never officiated, designed in 1844 by the engineer De Giorgi in neoclassical style, first used as a meeting place and currently as a cinema, where the majestic columns in white stone are still visible.
The building was used as a convent until 1809, the year of the suppression of the monastic orders, then it became the seat of the Tribunal, the Registry Office and the Stamp, after which it was the seat of elementary and middle schools, until it was recently restored to become its current location. of the provincial library, named after Tommaso Stigliani, a Matera poet of the 17th century, which houses 250,000 volumes, including precious manuscripts, incunabula, parchments and sixteenth century books, as well as containing a Media Library equipped with cutting-edge technologies.