The Basilica Cathedral of Madonna della Madia is the “Mother Church” for the people of Monopoli. Since 1772 the main façade and its late Baroque architecture have been a display of imposing elegance.

The inside of the basilica is enriched by polychrome marbles and paintings by important painters like Iacopo Palma il Giovane. Along the right nave, the succession of side chapels starts with the Cupboard of the Beams, which keeps 31 wooden pieces making up the raft of the miraculous landing in Monopoli, in 1117, of an Odegitria icon, called Madonna della Madia (Madia=cupboard), set in a big Chapel, behind the presbyterium and at a height of 6 metres. Therefore, the visitor, on entering the church metaphorically sets sail aboard wooden ships leading him along the naves, to contemplate the painting.

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