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Sanctuary of Madonna d’Ibernia (Cisternino)

The Romanesque little church of Madonna d’Ibernia was built around 1100, during the formation of the “casale”, a farmhouse in Cisternino, 3 km far form it. The church lies on the remains of a preexisting Basilian cenoby built not far from a pagan temple decicated to Cybele, the goddess of fertility. From the ancient cult of this divinity derives the veneration by the local population for the Madonna d’Ibernia also known as the Madonna of the “Egg” since she is meant to ensure fertility and plenty. During the Spring the Madonna d’Ibernia is offered the same cake the young pagans used to offer Cybele in order to ensure fertility.


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