Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Randazzo
Antonio Pignato - CC4.0
Church of Santa Maria Assunta of Randazzo, in Gothic style, is the most important place of worship in the city.
The construction of most of the current structures dates back to the period between 1217 and 1239, as evidenced by an epigraph in Gothic characters carved in the base of a pillar of the sacristy.
According to tradition, the building stands on the place where in ancient times a shepherd boy discovered, inside a cave, a burning flame in front of an image of the Madonna that no one had seen before. On the cave an altar was built first and then a wooden church.
The imposing facade amazes for the contrast between the very black basalt and the white sandstone decorations of the windows and portals. A peculiarity present in many churches of Randazzo. On the north side there is a portal inserted in a splayed Gothic arch framed by twisted columns with alternating helical development on a double order and surmounted by pinnacles. On the south side, a double flight of stairs with an isosceles development connects the right side entrance to the roadway. The magnificent portal is divided into three orders where columns, cornices decorated with phytomorphic motifs and various levels of splaying delimit architraves and lunettes inscribed under a single arch. Of great artistic value is the marble statuette depicting the Madonna, attributable to the Pisan school, a work placed in a small aedicule in the upper lunette of the south portal.
The interior, in the form of a Latin cross, has three naves divided by monolithic basalt columns. The ceiling of the vault of the central nave is frescoed with a cycle of scenes inspired by the life of the Blessed Virgin, the work of Filippo Tancredi created in 1682. The decorations and window ornaments reproduce subjects of the local flora and fauna, the stained glass windows were made in the twentieth century.
Inside, there are works by Girolamo Alibrandi, Giovanni Caniglia and Velasquez. Of particular interest is the wooden Crucifix sculpted by Frate Umile from Petralia, in the 17th century.
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