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 International Gothic to present day

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

Discovering the mother church

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

Feasting in Palazzolo

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

St. Sebastian, so much work!

A hall for the feasts

Limestone, the colour of harmony

The disastrous earthquake

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

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

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

The city of museums

The chocolate of Modica

The Burgos crucifix

Connections with other UNESCO sites

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

A colourful floor

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

The two churches

A new site for a new church

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The Maiolica of the staircase

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

Norman apses

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

A small room with a golden entrance

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

One city, three sites

Feast days

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

A long reconstruction

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

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

The colours of the cathedral

The theatre of taste

The interior and its masterpieces

New roads for Catania

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

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

One city, two sites

A triumph of colour

The Baroque town by the sea

The wall comes to life

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

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

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

The Staircase of Angels

A talking palace

The façade used as a puppet theatre

Some masterpieces

Many owners, one palace

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

A miniature city

The internal colours

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

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

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

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

A new site for a new city

A prominent church

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

A half-Baroque church

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

A symbol for the town

An eagle-shaped city

Prominent façade

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

Some prestigious works

Between white and black

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

A city in colour

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

A majestic and luminous church

A museum to save a tradition

Modica, a city with ancient origins

A feast only for Scicli

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

A Nobel Prize in Modica

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

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

Two illustrious patron saints

The church of Carmine

Searching for colour

A square as the heart of the city

Wonderful quick decorations