Catania

Norman apses

foto delle absidi dall'esternoIn the late 11th century, during the time of Roger II, the cathedral of Sant'Agata (St. Agatha) was built where the Roman baths were located (which are now accessible and can be visited).
When the Normans conquered Sicily and drove out the Arabs, they decided to build a large, important church in the heart of the ancient city of Catania.
Though the cathedral has undergone many transformations over the centuries, the ancient structures of the apses from the Norman period are still preserved today.
To build the new church, Roger II chose a site close to the sea and had an “Ecclesia munita” built, i.e. a fortified church. His decision was not accidental. This way, the city was defended against foreign attacks and the religious power of the Bishop of Catania was demonstrated.
For this reason, thick walls, Embrasures , corridors for Patrols and Merlons were built. They are still visible today in the external parts of the Transept and the Apses .
The Norman structures are easily recognisable because unlike the rest of the building, they are made entirely of lava stone bricks.
Inside, on the other hand, the ancient Norman structure can only be seen in the left apse.
Zoom su feriotie e merli 
The other two (the main apse and the chapel of St. Agatha) are widely decorated and colourful, and both have lost the rigour and austerity of the ancient structure. The left apse still features the old square stone with no decoration.
foto retablo

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

Some masterpieces

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

The role of the religious orders in rebuilding the Val di Noto

Many owners, one palace

A half-Baroque church

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

A triumph of colour

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The church of Carmine

One city, three sites

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The senses tell the story of the Badia di Sant’Agata

From International Gothic to present day

The wall comes to life

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

The Staircase of Angels

Feast days

The internal colours

Some prestigious works

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Modica, a city with ancient origins

Wonderful quick decorations

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

A new site for a new church

The theatre of taste

A square as the heart of the city

A small room with a golden entrance

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

Discovering the mother church

Two illustrious patron saints

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

The colours of the cathedral

The façade used as a puppet theatre

The city of museums

A long reconstruction

New roads for Catania

A colourful floor

A feast only for Scicli

The senses tell the story of the staircase of Santa Maria del Monte

The two churches

Freedom of worship and the role of the Catholic Church in the diffusion of Baroque

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

A museum to save a tradition

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Giuliano ai Crociferi

The disastrous earthquake

The Maiolica of the staircase

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

The senses tell the Benedictine Monastery and San NicoIò l’Arena

An eagle-shaped city

A talking palace

St. Sebastian, so much work!

The chocolate of Modica

The Burgos crucifix

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

A city in colour

A hall for the feasts

Connections with other UNESCO sites

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

A miniature city

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

One city, two sites

Feasting in Palazzolo

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

A prominent church

From the contrast of the exterior to the internal jubilation of colours

Between white and black

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

A new site for a new city

The senses tell the story of the church of Santa Maria del Carmelo

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

A symbol for the town

Searching for colour

The Baroque town by the sea

Limestone, the colour of harmony

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

The interior and its masterpieces

The senses tell the Mother Church of San Nicolò and of the Santissimo Salvatore

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

Norman apses

A majestic and luminous church

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giovanni Battista

Prominent façade