/ / Cathedral: photos, description (Duomo di Catania)

Cathedral: photos, description (Duomo di Catania)

The Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Agatha, the patron Saint of Catania, is one of the oldest churches in the city. Several times it was destroyed by earthquakes and eruptions of mount Etna, and subsequently restored.

The first Cathedral was built in 1078 - 1093 on the ruins of the ancient Roman baths by order of Roger I of Sicily and Catania liberated from the Arabs. In those years, the Cathedral was like a fortified fortress.

In 1169 the Church was almost completely destroyed during the earthquake. Untouched remained only the apse. A little later there was a fire also caused serious damage to the structure. But the biggest disaster occurred in 1693, when another terrible earthquake almost erased Skating with the face of the earth, the Church was again lying in ruins. Later it was rebuilt in Sicilian Baroque style according to the project of Giovanni Battista Vaccarini.

Traces of the first, the Norman, the Church can be seen in the transept, two towers and the three semicircular apses, built of huge lava blocks, which were taken from the ruins of ancient Roman buildings. And its present appearance of the Cathedral has received in 1711. Three-tiered facade is decorated with Corinthian columns made of granite, which were probably taken from the Roman theatre. Above the main entrance there is a marble statue of St. Agatha, to the right is the statue of St. Evpl, on the left the statue of the Holy Beryllia. The wooden portal decorated with 32 with bas-reliefs depicting the life and martyrdom of St. Agatha, Popes emblems and symbols of Christianity.

The dome of the Cathedral was created in 1802. The 70-metre high bell tower dates from the late 14th century, but in 1662 it was added a 90-foot observation tower. After the earthquake of 1693 and the whole structure was rebuilt and enlarged by the bell, weighing 7.5 tons is the third largest bell in Italy after St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome and the Duomo of Milan. The porch, separated from the Cathedral square white stone balustrade, adorned with five statues of saints, made of Carrara marble.

Inside the Church is traditionally consists of a Central nave and two side aisles. In the right aisle is situated the baptismal font, at the altar canvas depicting Fevronia of Nusaybin, and the tomb of the composer Vincenzo Bellini. Also inside you can see a Baroque monument of Bishop Pietro Galletti. Particularly noteworthy are the chapel of St. Agatha chapel and the crucifixion of Christ, the work of Domenico Mazzola with the graves of kings Frederick III and Louis, Duke of Giovanni Randazzo and Queen Constance of Aragon. In the left side chapel are preserved the paintings of the 17th century.