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Comune di Torremaggiore
Old postcard of Torremaggiore, ducal castle to the left
Old postcard of Torremaggiore, ducal castle to the left
Coat of arms of Torremaggiore
Coat of arms
Torremaggiore is located in Italy
Location of Torremaggiore in Italy
Coordinates: 41°41′N 15°17′E / 41.683°N 15.283°E / 41.683; 15.283
Country Italy
Region Apulia
Province Foggia (FG)
 • Mayor Costanzo Di Iorio (PD)
 • Total 208 km2 (80 sq mi)
Elevation 169 m (554 ft)
Population (1 August 2009)
 • Total 17,307
 • Density 83/km2 (220/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Torremaggioresi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 71017
Dialing code 0882
Patron saint St. Sabinus Bishop
Saint day First Sunday in June
Website Official website

Torremaggiore is a town and comune in the province of Foggia in the Apulia region of southeast Italy.

It includes Dragonara, the epicopal see of a former medieval residential diocese and present Latin Catholic titular bishopric.

It lies on a hill, 169 metres (554 ft) over the sea, and is famous for production of wine and olives.


The history of Torremaggiore is strictly connected to that of the burg of Fiorentino (also Castel Fiorentino), a Byzantine frontier stronghold founded by the catepan Basil Boioannes in 1018. Later a Norman, Hohenstaufen, Angevine and finally Aragonese possession, it is especially remembered as the death place of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (December 13, 1250).

Five years later the burg was attacked by Pope Alexander IV's troops, and the inhabitants fled to a nearby Benedictine abbey. Later they were allowed to found a new settlement, called Codacchio, later, when other refugees from Dragonara arrived, christened Terra Maioris ("Major Land"), the modern Torremaggiore. This burg was later a fief of the counts of Sangro. It was destroyed by an earthquake on July 30, 1627. On March 17, 1862 a platoon of royal troops was defeated by the brigands of Carmine Crocco; 21 soldiers were killed, even their captain Francesco Richard.

From August 25, 1925 Torremaggiore was connected to the nearby San Severo by a tramway, the first in southern Italy.

Ecclesiastical History[edit]

Dragonara was established in 1039 AD as a suffragan bishopric of the Metropolitan Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Benevento.

Suppressed on 21 February 1580, its territory being used to establish the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Severo.

Residential Suffragan Bishops of Dragonara[edit]

(all Roman Rite)

incomplete: first centuries unavailable
  • Pietro (1318? – 1321?)
  • Simone (1335? – ?)
  • Pietro (1343.06.09 – death 1345), previously Bishop of Montemarano (1334 – 1343.06.09)
  • Marino (1346.03.08 – ?)
  • Bernardo (1348? – ?)
  • Gualtiero de Copello, Dominican Order (O.P.) (1349.01.09 – ?)
  • Giovanni da Troia (? – death 1363)
  • Marchisano da Bologna, O.P. (1364.06.14 – 1366)
  • Gerardo da Montefoscolo, Friars Minor (O.F.M.) (1367.11.08 – ?)
  • Giovanni di Pietro da Piperno, O.P. (1372.06.21 – 1373.11.28), later Bishop of Trevico (1373.11.28 – ?)
  • Bartolomeo Raimondi, Benedictine Order (O.S.B.) (1382 – 1392.08.21), later Bishop of Bologna (Italy) (1392.08.21 – death 1406.06.16)
  • Giacomo (1392 – ?)
  • Francesco Bardi, Augustinian Order (O.E.S.A.) (1399.01.28 – ?)
  • Apostolic Administrator Nicola Tartagli, Cistercians (O. Cist.) (1438.08.01 – ?)
  • Pietro (? – ?)
  • Benedetto, O.E.S.A. (1451.07.23 – death 1482), previously Bishop of Isola (1451.05.28 – 1451.07.23)
  • Giacomo Bruno (1519.05.20 – ?)
  • Alfonso de Valdecabras (1551 – 1554), later Bishop of Capri (1551.08.21 – 1555)
  • Luis Suárez (1554.10.01 – ?)

Titular see[edit]

The diocese was nominally restored in 1968.

It has so far only had the following incumbent, albeit twice, both of the lowest (episcopal) and intermediary (archiepiscopal) ranks :

  • Titular Bishop Szczepan Wesoły (1968.12.11 – 1994.02.07 see below) as Auxiliary Bishop of Gniezno (Gnesen, Poland)
  • Titular Archbishop Szczepan Wesoły (see above 1994.02.07 – ...), promoted as emeritate

Main sights[edit]

  • The Castle of the Dukes of Sangro, built from a Norman tower, it has maintained the Renaissance appearance. It has four circular and two square towers, and a throne hall with a precious 17th-century fresco frieze. It is home to the archaeological exhibition of findings from Fiorentino.
  • Chiesa matrice di San Nicola ("Mother Church of St. Nicholas", 13th century), built by the refugees from Fiorentino and Dragonara. It was rebuilt in 1631 after the earthquake.
  • Church of Santa Maria della Strada (early 16th century).
  • Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Fontana.
  • Church of the Madonna di Loreto (16th century), erected by Albanian immigrants. It was rebuilt in 1627.
  • Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli (17th century).
  • Castle of "Fiorentino" (11th century), the place of the death of Staufian Emperor Frederick II.
  • Castle of "Dragonara" (11th century).

Notable locals[edit]

Twinned cities[edit]


  1. ^ ‘Chi era Nicola Fiani?’, Liceo Ginnasio Statale “N. Fiani”, Torremaggiore.

Sources and External links[edit]