town, Puglia (Apulia) regione, southeastern Italy. Altamura lies on the Murge plateau at 1,552 feet (473 m) above sea level, southwest of Bari. It was founded about 1200 by the Holy Roman emperor Frederick II, who created several new towns in Apulia, to which he attracted Italians, Greeks, and Jews by grants of privileges for their aid in his struggle against the barons. The town is surrounded by the medieval high wall (alta mura) from which it takes its name. The Romanesque-style Cathedral of the Assumption, begun in 1232 by Frederick, has been restored several times. The richly carved portal and central rose window in its facade are notable. The Pulo di Altamura, about 4 miles (6 km) away, is a limestone abyss, 1,640 feet (500 m) across and 246 feet (75 m) deep
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