Travel and Culture in Sicily

Catania: art

Catania was mostly entirely destroyed by the earthquake in 1693....


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Catania was mostly entirely destroyed by the earthquake in 1693. After this date it was rebuilt and today it can show some of the most glorious Baroque buildings of Sicily.


Catania was mostly entirely destroyed by the earthquake in 1693. After this date it was rebuilt and today it can show some of the most glorious Baroque buildings of Sicily.

In Duomo Square you can see the Elephant Fountain, the town’s symbol, a work by Vaccarini, who was one of the principal protagonists in the rebuilding of the town in the 18th century.
The elephant, sculpted in lavic stone, is bearing an Egyptian obelisk.

The Cathedral, dedicated to St Agatha, Patron saint of the town, was built by Count Ruggero in the 11th century and it was rebuilt by Vaccarini after the earthquake.

One of the most meaningful places in the Baroque Catania is Crociferi Street, along which you can find magnificent Baroque churches and noble eighteenth century palaces.
In this street you can admire Vaccarini’s masterpiece, St Julian’s church.

Among the architectural remains of the period before the 1693 earthquake, we would like to point out Ursino Castle, today seat of the Municipal Museum. It is a Norman castle built under Frederick II of Swabia (1239-1250) on a promontory that, at that time, was surrounded by the sea.

The ancient ruins of the Roman Theatre and Amphitheatre, both built in lavic stone, stand between some modern palaces. The Achilles Thermae, on the contrary, are completely hidden to the sight.
In fact, to get into them there is a door on the right side of the cathedral’s front, which will lead you to its large rooms.

Moreover, in Catania you will be able to admire the houses of some dstinguished citizens, as the one of the novelist Verga (1840-1922) and the one of the composer Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835).





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