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Church of Purgatory

The church is a must during the visit of Via Ridola, the main direction of the eighteenth-century backbone of the city. Built between 1725 and 1747 with contributions from the Confraternity of Purgatory and citizens. The drawing is by the engineer Giuseppe Fatone of Andria. The facade is the work of Vitoantonio Buonvino and Bartolomeo Martemucci, and is convex. All the baroque decorations present focus on the theme of the death and redemption of souls. At the top there are angels, fruit baskets and penitents wrapped in flames. In the center stands the Madonna and Child.

But the most interesting part is the lower part. In the center there is a beautiful wooden portal divided into 36 squares. It shows in the upper squares the skulls of dead rulers and prelates, and in the lower part the skulls of ordinary citizens. Above the portal, the inscription: MISEREMINI MEI MISEREMINI MEI SALTEM VOS AMICI MEI. In two lateral niches there are the statues of San Michele Arcangelo (on the left) and the cutode Angel (on the right).

The interior has a Greek cross surmounted by an octagonal wooden dome resting on a circular drum with Corinthian capitals. The walls are plastered and punctuated by friezes and three altars with eighteenth-century paintings. On the main altar, for example, a canvas depicts San Gaetano who intercedes with the Madonna for the souls of purgatory. On the left altar, San Nicola da Tolentino and the purging souls.

On the counter-façade there is an eighteenth-century organ with painted medallions depicting saints. The interior, although small in size, looks great for the play of light and the friezes that adorn it. Of very high importance, eight canvases painted by Francesco Oliva in the second half of the eighteenth century, including the Mocked Christ.

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