The name of this church refers to its location on the site where a gate within the city wall of Andria used to stand. This gate is called “porta santa” (holy gate) because tradition has it that Saint Richard, bishop and patron of Andria, walked through this gate to enter the city. The earliest phase of the church most likely dates back to the Swabian period (12th century), which, however, is mentioned in documents only from 1517, when a papal bulla allowed the city of Andria to refound the church on the current site of the church of Porta Santa, close to the walls and to the church of Santa Maria di Misericordia, so as to worthily house a painting depicting the Virgin of Mercy. The church today clearly appears its 15th -century style, with the beautiful carved portal and the rose window towering above. Inside, the church has a single nave surmounted by two octagonal domes. The nave must have been built in two different periods, confirming an earlier phase of the church. Above the first altar on the left is the wonderful fresco of the Virgin Galaktotrophousa (the Milk-Giver) or Snow Virgin, which shows the Virgin breast-feeding Christ. The carved decorations of the altar are particularly interesting: the stone columns and frame enclosing the fresco feature a frieze in relief that shows a sequence of stories from the Bible as well as plant motifs and auspicious figures in the corners.


Address: via De Anellis n. 48, angolo piazza Toniolo 5, 6, 7, 8.
Phone: +39 0883593382
Andria diocese's web address