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Troia is a small town set on the top of a small hill and surrounded by fields of wheat and grape vines; Puglia is after all one of Italy's main wine producers. The town is not a key tourist destination but it is home to one of Puglia's finest cathedrals and possibly the best Rose Window in all of Italy.
Troia is inland in the Puglia region of Southern Italy, not far from Foggia.
Troia began life as a Byzantine fortress in 1017 and for a couple of centuries was then ruled by powerful bishops who were responsible for building Troia's most important monument - its Duomo or cathedral.
Construction of the cathedral began in 1093 and it is a mixture of styles including Arab-inspired Byzantine and Pisan-Romanesque. The result is a beautiful cathedral. The main facade has seven arches at the lower level. The central one is the entrance to the cathedral through magnificent 12th century ornamental bronze doors with dragon handles. To each side are three 'blind' arches topped with simple geometric carvings.
The upper layer is altogether more elaborate with gargoyles, carvings and a stunning rose window. The segments of the rose window are finely carved stone grills, each with a different pattern and some with a strong Oriental influence. This is a very rare form of Rose Window and well worth seeing if you are in the area.
You will probably need an appointment to visit the cathedral treasury but if you manage you will see some fine medieval art works.
The oldest church in Troia is the church of San Basilio, originally a Greek-Orthodox temple. Its ancient pagan altar is decorated with ox heads.
Places to Visit Nearby
The attractive town of Lucera is nearby and here you can visit a Roman Ampitheatre and a castle built by Frederick II.
Troia is close to the town of Foggia, capital of the province of the same name. The town is not a tourist destination as much of its early splendour was destroyed by an earthquake in 1731 and later by extensive bombing in World War II. If you are visiting however its cathedral is worth seeing. The base survived the earthquake and is Romanesque style whilst the upper part collapsed in the earthquake and was rebuilt in Baroque style.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Puglia guide.