Catania

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

The Benedictine Monastery is located on the hill of Montevergine and is one of the city’s largest complexes. Today it is still considered the second largest monastic complex in Europe.
A very long history marked by the passage of time (a testimony of which are the remains of the Roman domus, or house, with the remains of a mosaic floor), civilisations and natural disasters that have made it one of the most resilient and richest cultural sites on the entire island.
It was founded by the monks of Cassino in the 16th century, when the western cloister was constructed, with the large Carrara marble quatrefoil fountain completed in 1608, as well as most of the rooms used for monastery life including the kitchens, the basement cellars, the monks’ cells over two floors, the refectory and the parlour.
With the eruption of 1669, the monastery was hit by magma that surrounded the building’s walls and reached the first-storey windows. Traces of the lava flow are still visible along the retaining walls, which were built especially to divert it. In 1693 it was hit by the great earthquake and suffered serious damage.
The new monastery design included the construction of four large courtyards that would make it the largest in the world, but only two were completed, extending it by around 1450 square metres.
portale ingresso
The decision to increase the spaces allowed for the construction of the cloister of Levante where the eclectic and elegant Caffeaos was inserted.
The two external elevations, south and east, are late Baroque, marked by giant pilasters with diamond rustication and crowned with Corinthian capitals . There are windows and balconies adorned with a series of volutes, flowers, masks and nymphs.
Among these is the austere neoclassical portal of the main entrance, a late 18th-century modification.

 

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The Church of St. Paul

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The smallest Greek theatre in the world

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The church and the monastery

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The Benedictines’ library

The two churches

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The expansion of space and changing reality

The church and the college

The Staircase of Angels

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Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

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The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

The interior of the church: space and colour

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The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

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

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

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

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The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

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

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The senses tell the Church of San Michele

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

Religious architecture

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The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

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Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

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

Luminous sacred spaces

The Church of Madonna della Stella

A stone garden

The Church of St. Benedict

Virtuosity, decorations and altars