Church of St. John the Baptist or the “Rotonda” (III-II century B.C.)
Church of St. John the Baptist or the “Rotonda”
In Roman times it was a pagan temple dedicated to the God Janus. In 996 it was consecrated to St. John the Baptist and being constituted by a circular structure, the church gives its name to the town: ‘Sancti Joannis Rotundi’ (San Giovanni Rotondo). Inside this church, some very precious frescos from the Middle Ages were found. Recently a baptismal font of the early Christian era has been brought to light, with a circular shape, located near the altar. It is a discovery of great importance, (in fact, there are few baptismal fonts dating from the early centuries of Christianity and archaeologically known in Southern Italy: four in all the Apulia) that helps to explain the Christian origins of the monument. It should be not forgotten that the church was an obligatory stop for many pilgrims who came to the Sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel, in Monte Sant’Angelo, because it is located along the route of the Via Sacra Longobardorum.