Just outside the walls of the historical center of the city, this is one of the most important churches in Matera. It dates back to 1204 when it belonged to the Benedictine monks, who abandoned it soon afterwards in 1212. After a tumultuous history, the church was reopened as a place of worship in 1695
Between 1230 and 1233, a new church was built for the Augustinian nuns who arrived in Matera from Palestine in 1198, but as the church was outside the city walls it was too dangerous for them and they abandoned it in 1480, during the War of Otranto.
In 1610, the main facade of the church was incorporated into the adjacent hospital building and the current facade is actually its right side. The church was reopened as a place of worship in 1695 by the Spanish Archbishop Antonio De Los Ryos y Colminarez and dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
The architecture of the church is mainly Romanesque, but there are influences of various styles, such as Arabic in the portals, Gothic in the arches and Greek in its cross layout.
The current facade is dominated by the main entrance, finely decorated with spiral scrolls. The entrance is also adorned with columns and animal sculptures. A sculpture of St. John the Baptist occupies the niche under the rose window.
The interior has three naves, separated by eight pillars surmounted by capitals decorated with floral and animal motifs. The central nave has a vaulted ceiling.