Si Trova: a Paternò
Lat: 37° 33' 56.88739" N - Long: 14° 53' 41.13583" E
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This small church with a completely medieval charm, also known as "the church of the Gancia", was built in 1092, about twenty years after the construction of the overlying castle, at the behest of the Countess Adelasia del Vasto, wife of the Great Count Ruggero, later Regent of the Kingdom.
Completed in 1123, it was built in blocks of lava stone and mortar.
Adjacent to it was also built a Benedictine monastery, which prospered for about four centuries enjoying the protection of the rulers of Sicily and the Holy See, as evidenced by the many privileges granted, and from the commercial activity that was held there with the export of goods.
In 1445 the church and monastery were aggregated to the convent of St Nicola l'Arena of Nicolosi, which subsequently moved to Catania.
In 1866, following the suppression of religious orders by the new Italian state, the monastery of St Nicola l'Arena was also suppressed, so the church and the monastery of St Maria della Valle of Josaphat suffered the same fate, and buildings of the convent hosted the hospital of the Santissimo Salvatore.
The church is crowned by a characteristic battlements, as was used in the Norman period as "ecclesiae munitae", and has a bell tower attached to the left.
The main portal is in Chiaramonte Gothic style, built after the construction of the church, and on its sides two crosses of the Knights of Jerusalem are carved, later called "of Malta".
The interior has a single nave, with a wooden roof that still respects the original conformation, the presbytery area is instead covered by a cross vault.
In the area behind the church there are still some remains of the ancient and rich monastery; in the front area interesting medieval burials have recently been discovered.
Currently the church is opened on August 15, on the occasion of the feast of the Assumption of Mary.
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Mazara del Vallo
The country culturally closest to Africa
Mazara del Vallo
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