Shrine of Christ the King in Messina
The Sacrario di Cristo Re di Messina is a majestic religious building that stands on a hilly part of the city, from where you can enjoy a splendid view of the Strait.
The temple was built on a project by the engineer Francesco Barbaro, on the remains of the castle of Matagrifone of which one of the towers has come down, incorporated at the base. In this tower was placed in August 1935 a bell which boasts of being among the largest in Italy , cast with the bronze of the cannons carried away by the enemy troops in the course of the First World War.
The building, in Baroque style, has an irregular octagonal shape with a large dome, on which a lantern holds a sphere with a cross on top marked by eight ribs, and at the base of which there are eight bronze statues of Theophilus Raggio, depicting: the allegory of Religion, the three theological virtues Faith, Hope and Charity; the four cardinal virtues Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance. The statue of Christ the King by Tore Edmondo Calabrò is located on the entrance staircase. Next to it is the polygonal tower of the old fortress.
Inside, as evidence of the heroism of many Messina inhabitants who died in the war, we find in a central position a marble sarcophagus on which a soldier figure by Bonfiglio is stretched, a plaque in memory of the sailors who fell in the naval battle of Punta Stilo on 9 July 1940 and in the walls thousands of niches containing the remains of the fallen of the two world wars.