Church of San Pietro (Otranto)

Via Padre Scupoli (Otranto)

St. Peter's church is a Byzantine church located in the historic center of Otranto in the province of Lecce.


It is one of the medieval buildings of the most representative of the South Byzantine building tradition and remains the highest and most vivid expression of Byzantine art in Puglia. The church represented, probably, the first basilica in the city, elected in 968 cities and reports directly to the Patriarchal See of Constantinople. Its dating has long been a subject of debate among scholars, but the analysis of the structure, frescoes and inscriptions in Greek, seems attributable to the IX-X century.


The square plan of a Greek cross, inscribed, in part of the Byzantine religious dictates. Inside, three small aisles are topped by a central dome, supported by four columns. The central apse altar was erected in 1841; left of the entrance are preserved Baroque altar elements laid in 1948, on the north wall, was dedicated to St. Peter. In the three apses on the bottom they have the beautiful Byzantine-style frescoes dating from the tenth or eleventh century. The oldest paintings are the Washing of the Feet, which depicts Christ with a halo in the act of lifting the leg of St. Peter's, and the Last Supper. The fourteenth century can be attributed the Nativity of Jesus, Pentecost and the Resurrection, while the last phase of the sixteenth century, the Presentation in the Temple, and other figures of saints.



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