Santissima dei Catalani Church in Messina
The Church of the Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani di Messina is also called Chiesa Annunziata di Castellammare due to its proximity to the fortress of the same name.
It was built between 1150 and 1200, according to the tradition on the ruins of a temple dedicated to Neptune, in the thirteenth century it was shortened with a retraction of the facade, probably following an earthquake and the three portals were inserted on the new wall. The church is partially buried due to the rubble caused by the earthquake of 28 December 1908 which was leveled, thus raising the street level by about three meters.
The church merges the Byzantine, Romanesque, Arabic and Gothic styles, as it appears from the apse, with a transept surmounted by a cylindrical dome with blind arches on small columns and narrow windows. The main portal, surmounted by the Aragonese rhomboidal coat of arms, presents late Romanesque Norman-Lombard characters in the capitals and Byzantine characters in the jambs, while elements of late Roman imitation are found in the capitals of the minor portals.
Inside, the presence is equally visible. of the different styles: the recessed columns of the main apse and some capitals testify to the Arab influence; the creasing of the triumphal arch and its raised peduccio morphology testify to the Arab-Byzantine one; the narrow and high windows of the naves, the Norman-Lombard one; the dome, the Byzantine one; a typically Byzantine element with connections to Arab constructive rationalism is instead the technique of treating the dome, apse and windows with thick layers of lime and long bricks, as well as covering the main nave with a Mediterranean barrel vault.