Catania

Church of San Giuliano (St. Julian) on Via dei Crociferi: reconstruction

Via dei Crociferi is a street a little more than one hundred metres long where some of Catania’s major Baroque architecture was built.
Among these is the exquisite church of San Giuliano (St. Julian), part of the architectural complex of the former Benedictine monastery. When the building in the old town (now Piazza Cutelli) was destroyed by the earthquake, the abbess Bonaiuto began its reconstruction. In 1703, with the help of her brother Don Fernando and the Bishop Riggio, the abbess sold the ruins of the old monastery and land, and began reconstruction on Via dei Crociferi.
The construction was long and complex. In 1741, when the final piece of land was purchased to build the church, the monastery had a dormitory, parlour and sacristy.

foto facciata chiesa frontale
When you are inside San Giuliano ai Crociferi it seems to be in a casket. The church has a central plan. Carved into the walls there are four niches, a small chapel and the high altar. The dome is painted with frescoes by the Catania painter Giuseppe Rapisardi. The scene shows Saint Berillo, the city’s third patron, while receiving from Saint Peter the task of founding the Catanese Church. Under the dome are four windows. Below are potbellied grates that allowed nuns to attend church celebrations.

Giuseppe Palazzotto was the architect and site manager; though tradition attributes this role to Vaccarini, in all likelihood he was only the designer of the project.

Connections with other UNESCO sites

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Church of San Giuliano (St. Julian) on Via dei Crociferi: reconstruction

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