Catania

The Badia di Sant’Agata (St. Agatha’s Abbey)

The church of St. Agatha ‘s Abbey is located a few metres away from the Cathedral.
facciata badia di sant'AgataThe abbey was rebuilt in 1735 following the catastrophic earthquake of 1693, under the supervision of architect Giovanni Battista Vaccarini .
Recently returned from Rome, he was inspired by models from Roman Baroque.
Located in the street that runs alongside the cathedral of St. Agatha, the building can be seen from Piazza Duomo in a scenic game of perspective through the cathedral’s garden.
The façade rests on a large lava stone base and has giant order limestone pilasters with a palm-shaped capital and an alternating pattern of convex-concave-convex surfaces. The convex parts have openings surmounted by tympanums with relief decorations depicting the breasts of the Virgin Martyr.
dattaglio timpano con mammelle dettaglio portale con colonne binate
In the concave part, on the other hand, there is the entrance portal, framed between two groups of marble coupled columns arranged on a pedestal.
dettaglio timpano facciataAn elegant pediment completes the entire composition.
The curved trabeation above the openings on the first level creates a play of light and shadow that projects over the characteristic Louvre windows, which rest on a stone arabesque decoration.

Sinuous and protruding at the end, and made of perforated metal, the Louvre windows allowed the nuns to take part in processions without being seen, thanks to two specially designed compartments. The second level, on the other hand, is three times concave and ends with a continuous balustrade in perforated stone with interlaced links.

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