Fountain of Sant'Agata in Catania
The Fountain of Sant'Agata in Catania, commonly known by the people of Catania with the nickname 'a funtanella', represents one of the oldest monuments in the city and is one of the few monumental works that did not suffer damage following the devastating earthquake of 1693.
The fountain is located a few meters from Uzeda Gate, inserted in a small vault carved into the external wall of the former archiepiscopal seminary, protected by a wrought iron gate. It consists of a small shell-shaped basin supported by a low pillar, above which the bust of the Patroness was placed with a plaque whose inscription in Latin recalls the construction of the monument. The monument was erected in 1621 on the occasion of the opening of the street called “Lanaria”, the current Via Cardinale Dusmet, by the governor of the city Francesco Lanario; in memory of the stealing of the body of Sant'Agata by the Byzantine general Giorgio Maniace in 1040, who donated the relics of the saint to Emperor Michael IV Paflagone. The relics were thus brought to Constantinople where they remained for about a century. Only in 1126 two brave soldiers of the Byzantine imperial guard, Gisliberto and Goselmo, brought the relics back to Catania. Due to the symbolic value connected to the fountain of Santa Agata, during the procession of the Veil of Sant'Agata, a very significant stop at this is an ancient tradition.