Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cathedral of Catania
Catania, Sicily, Italy

"The Cathedral of Catania, entitled to St. Agatha, is a church in Catania, Sicily, southern Italy. The church has been destroyed and rebuilt several times due earthquakes and eruptions of the nearby volcano Etna. It was originally constructed in 1078-1093, on the ruins of the ancient Roman Achillean Baths,... At the time it had the appearance of a fortified church ...  In 1169 it was nearly entirely destroyed by an earthquake, leaving only the apse area intact. Further damage was introduced by a fire in 1169, but the most catastrophic event was the 1693 earthquake, which again left it mostly in ruins. It was subsequently rebuilt in Baroque style.

"Today, traces of the original Norman edifice include part of the transept, the two towers and the three semicircular apses, composed of large lava stones, most of them recovered from imperial Roman buildings.

"The current appearance of the church date to the 1711 century design of Gian Battista Vaccarini, who designed a new Baroque fa├žade after the 1693 earthquake. It has three floors with Corinthian columns, in granite, perhaps taken from the Roman Theatre of the city. All the orders are decorated with marble statues of St. Agatha over the gate, St. Euplius on the right and St. Birillus on the left. The entrance door, in wood, has 32 sculpted plaques with episodes of the life and martyrdom of St. Agatha, coat of arms of popes and symbols of Christianity.

                                                                                 Chapel of St. Agatha

"The dome dates to 1802. The bell tower was originally erected in 1387, with a height of some 70 meters. In 1662 a watch was added, the structure reaching 90 meters; after the 1693 destruction it was rebuilt, with the addition of a 7.5 t bell, the third largest in Italy after that in the St. Peter's Basilica and in the Duomo of Milan." (See Link.)

                                                             The bell tower, designed by Carmelo 

Photo: Top photo taken in Catonia, Sicily, Italy  in April 2010 by SW.


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen

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