The city was built over a small peninsula jutting out between two gulfs. The Messapians exploited this sheltered landing place, and the Romans turned it into a military and commercial port opening towards the Orient. The modern city still features a number of Roman remains, and remarkable monuments dating back to the Middle Ages and subsequent eras. These include the churches of San Benedetto, dating back to 1090, and of San Giovanni al Sepolcro; the Swabian-Aragonese castle; the 17th-century Palazzo Nervegna. Brindisi is an important agricultural trading centre, and an active industrial centre.