Si Trova: a Modica
Lat: 36° 51' 51.14988" N - Long: 14° 45' 41.58253" E
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The cathedral of San Giorgio is considered the symbolic monument of Sicilian Baroque; it represents its most scenic and monumental architecture, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The current building is the result of the reconstructions that took place between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries following the disastrous earthquakes of 1542, 1613 and above all of 1693.
Probably a building already existed in medieval times, which was destroyed in 845 by the Arabs; it was the church of Santa Croce and was where the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament is now.
The first two orders of the marvelous façade were built on a project attributed to Rosario Gagliardi, one of the most valuable architects of the European eighteenth century.
The third order was created by Francesco Paolo Làbisi, who admirably managed to maintain stylistic uniformity.
The bells and the clock were moved to the third order, so the bell cell and the relative clock face of the second order are still empty today.
The church is preceded by a long and scenic staircase, in turn enriched by a roof garden on several levels which further enriches the magnificence of the church.
In the counter-façade, the entrance arch is surmounted by a coat of arms that reproduces the armor of the Norman Ruggero d'Altavilla, as it is believed that the primitive church was built at his behest.
The church has a Latin cross plan, with three apses, and has a dome.
The interior, rich in works, is divided into five naves.
In the chapel of St Giorgio are kept the relics of the saint and the statue that portrays him on horseback.
This is carried in procession during the festivity held the weekend following April 23rd.
In front of the main altar, in 1895, a sundial was built.
The altar was made with silver in 1705 and the wooden choir is from 1630.
To crown it all, behind the altar is a grandiose polyptych by Bernardino Nigro made in 1566.
It is composed of ten panels reproducing scenes from the Holy Family and life of Jesus.
In one of the panels Saint Martin is depicted, and under the belly of his horse the date and the author of the polyptych are reported, unfortunately not very legible.
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