Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Agrigento

Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Agrigento

Jbribeiro1 - CC4.0


 Cortile Santo Spirito - Agrigento (AG)

The monastery of Santo Spirito in Agrigento, located in the heart of the urban-historic center of the city, is a splendid monument of clear mountain art.
It was founded in 1299 by the noble Marquise Rosalia Prefoglio, also known as "Marchisia" Prefoglio, wife of Frederick I of Chiaramonte, who in the last years of her life decided to donate the structure to the Benedictine nuns of the Cistercian order very dear to her .
The people of Agrigento historically called the monastery with the dialectical term "Bataranni", in Italian, "badia grande", due to its imposing size.
The entrance to the monastery leads into a large cloister, to a garden with in the center a fourteenth-century fountain and two arches that support the wall of the church bordering the monastery. Also on the ground floor there are three rooms: the chapel, the chapter house and the refectory. The Chapter Hall is accessed through a portal flanked by two splendid mullioned windows characterized by a triple order of central and collateral columns, joined together by numerous decorative resources. The Hall has two large mullioned windows and a ceiling with a series of transverse arches and, at the back of the room, there is a crypt located on a mezzanine floor. On the far right is the entrance portal to the refectory with a rectangular plan which, unlike the other two rooms, has single-light windows and a large mullioned window at the back of the room.
On the first floor there are four rooms: the dormitory characterized by single-lancet windows on one side and long and narrow windows, the slits on the other side. Above the walls there are the enormous ogival arches and the ceiling is built in wood with trusses and caissons, built in the seventeenth century; the marble room that houses an important marble crucifix from the fifteenth century where Christ with the Magdalene and St. John the Baptist is depicted on the front and symbols recalling the resurrection of Christ on the back of the sculpture; the coffered room characterized by a wooden coffered ceiling from which it takes its name; and the room of the Mother Superior, also known as the Tower room, has a quadrangular shape and columns raised towards the ceiling to form a cross vault with a rose window in the center, has a large slit that overlooks the entrance to the monastery.
On the second and last floor there is the Antonino De Gubernatis ethno-anthropological museum and the cartographic and toponymy room.

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