Modica

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.

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

The interior and works of art

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The Church of St. Francis

A story of rebirth

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

Art in the cathedral

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

St. Agatha and the candelore

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

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

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The Church of St. Paul

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

The expansion of space and changing reality

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

A heritage of votive works

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

The casket of austerity under the great dome

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

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

The palace, the town, the church

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

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

The church and the monastery

The Church of St. Benedict

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

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

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

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

Religious architecture

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

The Church of Madonna della Stella

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

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

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

Altars, saints and sculptural works

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

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

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

Luminous sacred spaces

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

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

The church and the college

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

The Staircase of Angels

The city palace

City and nature

The articulated interior spaces

The new roads of the city

The Benedictines’ library

One city, three sites

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

The art of maiolica

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

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

The Franciscan convent

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

The works in the church

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

A unifying project for the city of Catania

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The interior of the church: space and colour

The eagle-shaped city

A casket of precious works

Reconstruction after the earthquake

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

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

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

A stone garden

The two churches

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

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

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

The Palazzo dei due mori

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

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

The city within the city

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family