Santa Maria della Vittoria, simply called the 'Mother Church', is the most important religious building in the city of San Vito dei Normanni. The largest church in the city shows evidence of previous wars from the fist-sized holes that can be seen in and around the exterior. Built in the shape of a Latin cross with three naves, a transept and a deep chancel. Inside valuable paintings such as the icon of Nicopeia, depicting the Virgin Mary, announcing to Pope Pius V the victory over the Turks, and a silver statue representing St. Vitus. On the right side of the basilica there is the Holy Door, opened in October 1995 during celebrations for the fourth centenary of the church, beginning at the Holy Year Jubilee of the Church. Also the occasion was marked by the presentation of a new wooden altar, together all the furnishings of the sanctuary, of Flavio Pancheri. On October 26, 1996, Pope John Paul II, during a special audience called on the Archdiocese of Brindisi-Ostuni, and solemnly crowned the icon of Our Lady Nicopeia.References:
The Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg is situated in a strategic area on a rocky spur overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain, it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908 it was rebuilt at the behest of the German kaiser Wilhelm II. Today it is a major tourist site, attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year.
The first records of a castle built by the Hohenstaufens date back to 1147. The fortress changed its name to Koenigsburg (royal castle) around 1157. The castle was handed over to the Tiersteins by the Habsburgs following its destruction in 1462. They rebuilt and enlarged it, installing a defensive system designed to withstand artillery fire.
The fortification work accomplished over the 15th century did not suffice to keep the Swedish artillery at bay during the Thirty Years War, and the defences were overrun.