Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Geraci Siculo
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The Mother Church of Geraci Sicula, dedicated to Santa Maria Maggiore, overlooks the main square of the town.
It was built at the beginning of the fourteenth century as can be seen from the main door ogival ferrules, grouped in three archivolts, and some elements of the original style which came to light during recent restoration works.
The facade facing west that insists on the main square of the town. The façade was remodeled following the earthquakes of the years 1818 and 1819. On that occasion the bell tower was also rebuilt, concluded by a spire in brightly colored majolica bricks that make up a geometric design. The façade has other neo-Gothic elements, such as the pointed arch at the top, the mullioned window and the rose window, which were added in 1938.
The church has a basilica layout divided into three naves by means of pillars on which arches rest all sixth. The restoration in 1966 brought the building back to its medieval facies, compromised in the Baroque age, only the side chapels with wrought iron balustrades and gates have maintained the Baroque style. The original arches can be recognized in the two adjacent bays to the pillars of the transverse arch of the nave, which have angular bevels concluded by a thin volute; among the decorative details attributable to the Middle Ages there are also the two ox heads with large nostrils, now reassembled in the pylons of the choir arch.
Among the numerous works of art kept in the church, of particular value are: the Madonna della Mercede placed in the niche at the beginning of the right aisle of the Gagini school, datable to the first decades of the 16th century. the statue rests on an octagonal base where the Resurrection, two cherubs and the patrons in prayer with their heraldic coat of arms are sculpted; the baptismal font, referable to the first half of the 16th century which, due to its iconographic complexity, is one of the most interesting examples of the area. It presents at the base four figures of sphinxes with dragon wings alternating with masks, while in the basin the reliefs of the Baptism of Christ, the Madonna with Child and the Lamb of the Apocalypse are inserted.
In the crypt of the church. the "Treasure" is exhibited, which collects objects of gold and silverware used for sacred liturgies from various local churches.
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