Mother Church of Gela

Mother Church of Gela

Antonio Pignato - CC4.0


 Via Matrice, 2 - Gela (CL)

The Mother Church of Gela, also known as the church of Santa Maria Assunta, is a superb example of the neoclassical architecture of the town on the gulf.
It was built in 1760 to replace the 14th century church of Santa Maria de 'Stalls. In 1844 the neoclassical neoclassical facade in sandstone was built and the bell tower was built on a project by Emanuele Di Bartolo. For its construction the boulders of the old church were probably exploited, which in turn came from the temples and monuments of the ancient Greek city.
The imposing facade is preceded by a staircase on the square. The facade has two orders of Doric and Ionic columns and two groups of statues. At the top of the facade is a large window.
The interior, with a Latin cross plan with a basilica layout, is divided into three naves by pillars and neoclassical arches, decorated in pure gold; several frescoes with Latin inscriptions are present on the vault of the central nave.
Among the works kept inside the church of particular value are: the painting "the transit of Mary", belonging to the old church of Santa Maria de Platea; the canvas "the Assumption of the Madonna", by Giuseppe Tresca; a large organ from 1939 with 31 pipes on the facade.
In the modern parish house there are paintings with portraits of eminent ecclesiastical characters of the past and, in the archive, ancient documents dating back to the 16th century.
During the last works of refurbishment of the flooring several crypts came to light, probably from the eighteenth century in which were found, besides numerous remains of skeletons and hundreds of shards, finds from the Greek era such as a large square stone defined by archaeologists as a component of the base of a temple.

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