Bari – Quartiere Murat – architecture

Quartiere Murat is where most of the good mid-range and high end restaurants are located. Please see my next post for food, this is about architecture.

The Murat district is bordered by the sea and the old town Barivecchia to the north, and the train tracks to the south. The other city quarters of Madonella and Liberta are to the east and west.

It’s named after Joachim Murat who was a Marshal of Napoleon Bonaparte and head of the government of the Kingdom of Naples, who ushered in the construction of the new area. The walls surrounding the old town were dismantled on the land side and replaced by Corso Vittorio Emanuele which allowed the city to expand.

At first, much of this part of town seems quite unattractive with relatively modern blocks squeezed together by dirty streets with narrow pavements. However, there are some lovely buildings dotted around if you can find them.

I love the over the top Art Noveau stylings of Palazzo Mincuzzi (corner of Via Sprano da Bari and Via Putignani) which is now a clothes store in the posh shopping district (pedestrian streets Via Sparano and Via Argiro).

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You can also find Teatro Petruzzelli near here at 12 Corso Cavour. It’s the fourth largest theatre in Italy but is sadly closed in 2014 due to the state of the economy.

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I don’t know what this building is called (at 127 Via Putignani, on the corner of Via Cairoli) but I love the detailing and the animal heads above the balconies.

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Each animal is carrying its typical food in its mouth so the walrus has a fish, the fox has a bird, the ram some grass and so on.

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I’m not quite sure what its religious function is but Palazzina San Clemente at 245 Beata Elia di San Clemente has a beautifully carved stone entrance.

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20140628_200311Here’s a bit of dirty and forgotten Art Nouveau at 205 Via Putignani, just a few doors down from Ristorante Terranima.

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So while it might not seem like it at times, there are a few architectural gems dotted around Bari, you just have to look hard for them.

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