Staircase of Caltagirone
philippe.hemmel - CC2.0
The Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte in Caltagirone is the most representative monument of the city.
It was built in 1606 in order to connect the old part of Caltagirone to the new city built in the upper part. Originally it was built in overhangs that interrupted the slope, each of the different sectors were composed of 14 steps each, each of which depicted a certain steric period, ranging with the Arab, Baroque, Norman style and many others. In 1844 the various ramps were unified, based on a project by the architect Salvatore Marino. Thus were born the 142 steps of the staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, which since 1954 has been entirely decorated, in the risers of the steps, with polychrome ceramic tiles produced by Maioliche Artigianali Caltagironesi.
A polychrome majolica covering with different figurative, floral or geometric themes has been applied to each rise of the steps of the staircase, which represent the Arab, Norman, Swabian, Angevin style in the series of blocks - Aragonese, Chiaramonte, Spanish, Renaissance, Baroque, 18th century, 19th century, contemporary.
The staircase, over 130 meters long, is flanked by buildings with balconies, and crowned on the top by the Church of Santa Maria del Monte, the first historic Mother Church of the city, a role now held by the Cathedral of San Giuliano.
For several years, in May, in honor of the Virgin Mary, the Scala has offered another particular spectacle with an imposing Infiorata .
On the occasion of the Feast of Maria Santissima del Ponte and important civil and religious events, the Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte is artistically illuminated in full respect of a centuries-old tradition .
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