The inhabited area extends degrading on the slopes of Mount Saint Mark; the narrow paved streets of the historic center offer evocative glimpses of spontaneous architecture embellished with valuable monumental episodes. Among these the abbey complex built around the Saint Michael’s Cave. The site is among the oldest in Capitanata dedicated to the worship of the Archangel; connected to the cave, in the eleventh century, the imposing church of the Annunziata, with a clear and squared profile, originally dedicated to the most Holy Trinity, then to Saint Angel and Saint Mary. The building, characterized by the presence of two domes, one of which is ellipsoidal, dates back to the twelfth century and is due to similar architectural experiences witnessed on Gargano.
Today the access to the cave takes place from the church of Saint Pilgrim, built in 1527 but almost entirely remodeled in the last century. Annexed to the holy cave of Orsara stood the abbey of Saint Angel, provided with a guesthouse to accommodate the pilgrims. The structure, occupied first by the Basilians and then by the Benedictines, passed in 1229 to the dependencies of the Knights of Calatrava, assuming the rank of house-mother of the Spanish Order in Italy; from here and from the church come numerous fragments placed in the church of San Nicola and in the Diocesan Museum. Among these the most interesting are a lion-shaped fountain and a stone column, probably components of a Romanesque pulpit, a precious silver goblet from the Middle Ages, a pair of stylized lions and two capitals.
After various events, in the 16th century, during the dominion of the Spanish Guevara family, part of the structure was transformed into a baronial residence. Also the expansion of the beautiful New Fountain overlooking Mazzini square and the construction of the Guevara tower complex, a few kilometers from the town, famous for having hosted the hunting expeditions of the Bourbon rulers, are attributed to Guevara. Other testimonies that concur to represent the image of the village are the features of the ancient walls as well as the two surviving gates, Greci’s gate and Porta Nuova, which document the evolution of the original urban layout.
The historical survey includes some churches such as the 11th century Madonna of the snow, the church of St. John the Baptist, the 11th century Monastery of St. Dominic and the Parish Church dedicated to St. Nicholas. Inside there is a monumental Calvary in stone with two sides. The work, originally painted, dates back to the sixteenth century and refers to the context of the Aragonese court of Naples inspired by French experiences.