The Castello di Santo Stefano is an important coastal fortress outside the city of Monopoli in the Italian region of Apulia. Throughout the Middle Ages it was an essential component of the city's complex and articulated defense system.
The castle, which was built in 1086 at the behest of Goffredo, Count of Conversano, is located on a peninsula between two bays of the Adriatic Sea that form two small natural harbors. Since there is a fresh water spring there, a Benedictine monastery settled there; the friars gave the castle its name because there was a relic of St. Benedict there, which was brought from Monopoli to Putignano on December 26, 1365 to protect it against the constant attacks of the Turks and pirates To defend.
Around the end of the 13th century the Johanniter decided to go to the abbey relocate by re-fortifying the old coastal fortress. They created a moat that is still visible today and prepared the bays on both the left and right of the monastery fortress for ships to dock. In practice, in the time of the Greeks or the Greek Orient, the monastery fortress became a necessary stop for those traveling by ship from Bari to Brindisi. In addition to having two bays for mooring, there was the possibility of repairing several ships at the same time and equipping them with everything they needed for the journey to the Holy Land. The surrounding area was incorporated into the chapter of Monopoli Cathedral in the 13th and 14th centuries. With this voluntary annexation, the abbey with the lands and the castle was the first city in Apulia to come under the administration of Bourbon-Sicily.
The building has a quadrangular plan and has a large courtyard inside, with an old well. There are a few parts which date back to the Middle Ages, such as the altar and the portal of the church, of the 13th century, with a precious low-relief in the lunette which represents the Saints Stefano and Giorgio.References:
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens. It was built in 161 AD by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It was originally a steep-sloped theater with a three-story stone front wall and a wooden roof made of expensive cedar of Lebanon timber. It was used as a venue for music concerts with a capacity of 5,000. It lasted intact until it was destroyed and left in ruins by the Heruli in 267 AD.
The audience stands and the orchestra (stage) were restored using Pentelic marble in the 1950s. Since then it has been the main venue of the Athens Festival, which runs from May through October each year, featuring a variety of acclaimed Greek as well as International performances.