The Duomo di San Giorgio (Cathedral of St. George)

Modica has two large architectural out-of-scale buildings that dominate the entire city: one of these is the Cathedral of San Giorgio, the most monumental ecclesiastical building in the Val di Noto.

The Cathedral of San Giorgio
The Cathedral of San Giorgio is one of the two largest buildings in Modica that rises with its giant mass on top of the spectacular staircase of 250 steps. Its imposing 62-metre-high tower facade designed by architect Gagliardi is one of the symbols of Sicilian Baroque. The five entrance portals are in rococo style and indicate the presence of as many naves that end with three apses. The facade is characterized by the central tower and is marked by powerful columns that divide it into five vertical parts in the first band. In this band alternate concave and convex shapes that move the surface like waves of stone. The effect of momentum of the second and third bands is enhanced by the concentration of columns, three per side, in the central part close to the main portal richly decorated.

The current church is the greatest example of Baroque theatricality emphasised by its position at the top of the scenic 250-step staircase designed to connect the two different levels of the city.
With its majestic tower façade it is one of the major symbols of Sicilian Baroque.
 duomo drone  guglia san giorgio
Its origins date back to the medieval age. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times due to the seismic events of 1542, 1613 and the devastating earthquake of 1693. It was built in 1702 and completed with the placing of the iron cross on the spire in 1842.
Dett primo ordine della chiesaSeveral architects worked on the project, enriched by designs in continuous evolution, given the duration of the interventions over a long time. In particular, Rosario Gagliardi supervised the work on the characteristic tower façade, just over 60 metres high.
Although it is not shown in the project documents, from 1761 onwards the architect Francesco Paolo Labìsi continued the work, working on the second and third levels of the façade and the Rococo portals with their sinuous shapes and rich decorations.
The entrance portals were later built by master builder Carmelo Cultraro. The genius of the Sicilian renovation also included proposals from European Baroque, so much so that some solutions adopted in the façade of Dresden Cathedral , completed in 1753, may have been used as an example by Labìsi.

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

Luminous sacred spaces

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

The Church of St. Francis

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

The church and the monastery

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

The Palazzo dei due mori

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

The eagle-shaped city

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

Barresi-Branciforte: the lords of the fiefdom and the modernisation of the town

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

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

The interior of the church: space and colour

The neo-Gothic seminary chapel: symbols, light and space

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

The interior and works of art

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

The Staircase of Angels

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

A heritage of votive works

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The palace, the town, the church

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

The Duomo di San Giorgio (Cathedral of St. George)

Views denied, views conquered: the power of the devout Benedictines

A story of rebirth

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

The Church of Madonna della Stella

The senses tell the story of the Sanctuary Church of Santa Maria della Stella

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

One city, three sites

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The casket of austerity under the great dome

Geometry and wonder in civic architecture in the Baroque of the Val di Noto

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

A unifying project for the city of Catania

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

Art in the cathedral

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

The two churches

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

The Church of St. Benedict

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Carlo and the former Jesuit college

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

Reconstruction after the earthquake

The Benedictines’ library

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

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

Verticality and dynamism of the façade of the Church of San Carlo

Religious architecture

A casket of precious works

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

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

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The Church of St. Paul

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

St. Agatha and the candelore

The expansion of space and changing reality

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

The church of San Nicolò l’Arena: the majesty of an unfinished beauty

City and nature

The senses tell the Benedictine Monastery and the Church of San Nicolò l’Arena

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

The art of maiolica

The works in the church

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

Altars, saints and sculptural works

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

The Franciscan convent

The city within the city

The articulated interior spaces

Piazza Duomo, the elephant fountain, the heart of the city

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

The new roads of the city

The city palace

A stone garden

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

The church and the college

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

The freedom of worship and the Catholic Church’s role in the diffusion of Baroque

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work