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

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

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

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

An eagle-shaped city

A triumph of colour

Between white and black

The Burgos crucifix

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

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

The wall comes to life

Prominent façade

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

St. Sebastian, so much work!

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

One city, two sites

A new site for a new city

One city, three sites

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

Two illustrious patron saints

A majestic and luminous church

The façade used as a puppet theatre

A square as the heart of the city

The theatre of taste

Connections with other UNESCO sites

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

A Nobel Prize in Modica

A feast only for Scicli

The colours of the cathedral

The internal colours

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

Modica, a city with ancient origins

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

New roads for Catania

A new site for a new church

A long reconstruction

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

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

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

A museum to save a tradition

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

The disastrous earthquake

A miniature city

A city in colour

The city of museums

Wonderful quick decorations

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

The chocolate of Modica

A prominent church

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

Some prestigious works

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

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

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

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

Many owners, one palace

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

A small room with a golden entrance

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

Limestone, the colour of harmony

A colourful floor

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

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

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

Searching for colour

A hall for the feasts

The interior and its masterpieces

Some masterpieces

From International Gothic to present day

The Baroque town by the sea

The Maiolica of the staircase

The two churches

The church of Carmine

A symbol for the town

Discovering the mother church

The Staircase of Angels

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

A talking palace

Feast days

A half-Baroque church

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

Feasting in Palazzolo

Norman apses

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

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

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca