Via San Benedetto, 16, Conversano, (Bari)
It is an important architectural structure built in the 10th century. The St. Benedict Monastery displays art masterpieces, a medieval cloister (XI-XIII century) with a trapezoidal shape and carved capitals, mosaic and monastic structures of various kinds. The history of this monastery is special; it is famous for its name “Monstrum Apuliae” (Monster of Puglia) because between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries it was the home of abbesses called Mitrate, nuns who exerted a powerful real feudal and ecclesiastical jurisdiction throughout the region. It stands out with its two bell towers, dating back to the Norman period, the other, from ornate tiles, dating back from the purely decorative Baroque period. Inside there is a church in the Romanesque style. The polychrome mosaic decoration on the outside walls of the church is interesting, with its geometric motifs of palmettes and hanks; the walls of the building are decorated also by panels with floral motifs and a winged griffin. It houses the Archaeological Museum, exhibiting archaeological evidence of the city from prehistoric times until the Late Antiquity.