Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Mineo

Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Mineo

Carlo Blangiforti - CC1.0


 Largo Santa Maria Maggiore, 1 - Mineo (CT)

The monumental Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Mineo stands on the top of one of the two hills of the city. On the second hill stands the Church of Santa Agrippina, Patroness of the city of Mineo.
The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore stands near the ruins of the old Ducezio castle and boasts of being the first Christian church in Mineo. Its origins date back to the dawn of Christianity in Sicily towards the middle of the third century AD. First dedicated to the Sun god, when the city of Mineo was Christianized, the building was transformed from a pagan temple into a Christian temple and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.
Over time the building has undergone numerous transformations and alterations above all following the earthquakes of 1542 and 1693, during which it was razed to the ground.
The facade is divided into three architectural orders. In the first order, divided by four pilasters with Doric capitals, there are the three entrance doors. The second order has Ionic capitals, a window in the center and two niches on the sides and, above the window, the coat of arms of the Buglio family who had it restored after the earthquake of 1542. The third level has three round arches separated by pilasters with Corinthian capitals. Above a large sun dominates in memory of the pagan temple. On the left, again in the main facade, there is an old portal that belonged to the Ducezio castle. On the sides of the door two stone lions dominate, a symbol of strength, probably belonging to the temple, now almost completely eroded by the weather.
The interior is a Latin cross with three naves with a dome on the transept.
Inside of the church there are works of considerable artistic value: a stone baptismal font of the '500, an alabaster statue of the Queen of the Angels donated by Count Roger in 1072, a marble basin of the' 500 by Mazzola, canvases of the '600 and of the '700, sacred vestments of great value.

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